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South Health District

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)

Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEE) is a rare illness in humans that is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. This virus causes inflammation of the brain.

Infection
EEE is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. In the United States, only 5-10 cases are reported annually. EEE cannot be transmitted directly person to person. Anyone in an area infected with EEE can get infected with the virus.

Symptoms
According to the CDC, severe cases of EEE begin with the sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting. The illness may then progress into disorientation, seizures, and coma. Symptoms are developed 4 to 10 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.

There is no specific treatment or vaccine for humans for EEE.

Prevention

  • Avoid mosquito bites.
    • Use insect repellents when you go outdoors. The CDC recommends repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection. To optimize safety and effectiveness, repellents should be used according to the label instructions.
    • Avoid being outdoors during peek mosquito biting hours from dusk to dawn. If outdoors, wear protective clothing and repellent during this time. Spraying your clothes with insect repellent is also recommended as mosquitoes may bite through thing clothing.
  • Tip ‘n Toss.
    • Reduce the mosquito population around your business, home or property by eliminating all standing water and debris.
    • Trim or remove overgrown plants that provide cool/dark/damp areas where adult mosquitoes rest.
    • Repair missing, damaged, or improperly installed screens.
    • Fix leaky faucets that create pools of water.

For more information visit www.cdc.gov/ or dph.georgia.gov/mosquito-borne-viral-diseases.