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Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) from Mosquito Bites

Eastern equine encephalitis is a mosquito-borne viral disease that is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Eastern equine encephalitis outbreaks occur most commonly in the eastern United States. The virus that causes EEE is usually found only in birds, mosquitoes that bite birds and occasionally in mosquitoes that bite horses. Birds that live near freshwater swamps are more likely to carry the virus. Fortunately fewer than 10 cases are reported in most years. Some people experience it only as a mild illness, but eastern equine encephalitis is fatal in approximately one-third of the cases. Symptoms of EEE usually appear three to ten days after a bite by an infected mosquito.

Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) symptoms

Some people will not even experience symptoms of EEE. Others will get only a mild flu-like illness with fever, headache, or sore throat. The first symptoms of a more serious case of EEE are high fever (103 degrees to 106 degrees Fahrenheit), stiff neck, headache and lack of energy. These symptoms show up three to ten days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Swelling of the brain, called encephalitis, is the most dangerous symptom. The disease gets worse quickly, and some patients may go into coma within a week.

If you are experiencing the symptoms of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and believe you may be at risk, please see a physician immediately.

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