News Release: September 17, 2013
Vermont Department of Health
BURLINGTON – Mosquito pools in Cornwall, Brandon and Milton (Addison, Rutland and Chittenden Counties) tested positive this week for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) at the Vermont Department of Health Laboratory.
“This should serve as a reminder that no matter where you live, you should continue to take actions to avoid mosquito-borne illness,” said Erica Berl, infectious disease epidemiologist for the Health Department. “Local frosts and cool temperature can reduce the risk for infection, but the risk will not be eliminated until there’s a widespread hard frost.”
The detection of EEE in Milton is the first ever in Chittenden County. EEE is an extremely rare but potentially fatal viral disease spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes. Active mosquito surveillance is conducted in parts of Addison and Rutland counties, with much more limited surveillance in parts of Franklin and Chittenden counties.
The mosquito pool in Milton also tested positive for West Nile virus. One human case of West Nile virus was reported in Lamoille County in August. About 20 percent of people with West Nile virus experience a flu-like illness, and fewer than 1 percent develop a more severe illness that affects the nervous system.
Horses, llamas, alpacas and emus can also become ill with EEE. There is a vaccine that is licensed for horses that can also be used in these other species. There is also a horse vaccine for WNV. Owners should make sure their animals are current on their vaccinations.
There is no EEE or WNV vaccine for humans.
No matter where you live, ‘Fight the Bite’
1. Stay inside or limit the amount of time spent outdoors at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active and biting.
2. Use insect repellents labeled as being effective against mosquitoes.
3. Cover up with long sleeves, long pants, socks, shows, hat and head net when possible.
4. Dump standing water from around your house twice a week.
The latest news and extensive information about mosquito-borne illness and precautions to take – including posters, flyers and messages for higher risk areas – is available at : healthvermont.gov
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