NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — Residents in Eastern Connecticut are advised to take extra precautions to avoid contracting Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).
The state Department of Public Health announced on Tuesday that a second person in Connecticut diagnosed with the EEE virus passed away. The deceased was an adult resident of Old Lyme who was hospitalized with the virus in mid-September. The death is the second human fatality from EEE in the state since 2013.
EEE is a rare, serious disease caused by a virus that is transmitted by mosquitoes and historically the virus has been found in trapped mosquitoes in Connecticut. Only one person has died from EEE.
There are no plans currently for the state to implement widespread pesticide spraying.
“Right now, we are seeing that the greatest risk is east of the Connecticut River,” said Director of CAES, Dr. Theodore Andreadis. , “However, the very good news is that as we monitor our mosquito population, we are seeing a significant overall decline in the number of mosquitoes collected in our statewide trapping as well as the number of mosquitoes infected with the EEE virus.”
New London residents were issued and advisory by Mayor Michael Passero’s office to avoid outdoor activities from dusk to dawn. Dusk can be assumed as 5:30 p.m.
Additional precautions to avoid mosquito bites include:
- Be sure door and window screens are tight fitting and in good repair.
- While outdoors, wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts. Clothing material should be tightly woven.
- Use mosquito netting if sleeping outdoors.
- Consider using mosquito repellent when it is necessary to be outdoors and always use them according to label instructions. The most effective repellents contain DEET or Picaridin. Oil of lemon eucalyptus is also effective for brief periods of exposure.
- When using DEET, use the lowest concentration effective for the time spent outdoors (for example, 6% lasts approximately 2 hours and 20% for 4 hours) and wash treated skin when returning indoors. Do not apply under clothing, to wounds or irritated skin, the hands of children, or to infants less than 2 months.
Measures to reduce mosquitoes around the home include:
- Dispose of water-holding containers, such as ceramic pots, used tires, and tire swings, clogged gutters.
- Drill holes in the bottom of containers such as those used for recycling.
- Change water in bird baths on a weekly basis.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, and cover pools when not in use.
- Use landscaping to eliminate areas where water can collect on your property.
- Additional resources for information on EEE and mosquito management can be found here
- For information on what can be done to prevent getting bitten by mosquitoes and the latest mosquito test results and human infections, visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program.