Connecticut responds to EEE

Over the past few months, the rather elusive mosquito-borne disease, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), has killed three residents and has been found in over 23 towns and cities in the state of Connecticut. 

The three victims were bitten in East Haddam, Old Lyme, and East Lyme respectively. All three victims thus far have been of varying ag, but anyone is at risk of contracting the disease.

Some symptoms of EEE include: frequent seizures, high fever, nausea/vomiting, and a multitude of other debilitating symptoms. It is believed that EEE has a fatality rate of about 33 percent, and death occurs from two to ten days after contraction. This disease struck Connecticut in 2013, but this year the outbreak has been worse than ever.

 “Before this year, we have had only one human case of EEE in Connecticut, and that was in 2013,” said Doctor Matthew Carter, director of infectious diseases for the state. 

The rarity of the disease is causing some panic as schools and towns are taking extra precautions in order to ensure that their students and citizens do not contract the disease. 

We will provide our sports teams with bug repellent that players and coaches can apply at games and practices” said Naugatuck Superintendent Sharon Locke in a message to the parents of the Naugatuck community. 

Furthermore, Naugatuck High School recently cancelled their football game this past weekend due to the looming threat of EEE.

“I think it kind of stinks because football games are meant to be played on Fridays, but I understand why it was cancelled. It helps make sure people aren’t exposed to the disease, as it has raised some red flags across the state,” said Joel Alexander, a senior at Naugatuck High School.

Not only has Naugatuck taken steps within their athletics to take precautions from this disease, other schools such as New Britain and Berlin have also moved their games to earlier in the day. 

As of now, mosquito trapping has been at the forefront of preventative measures; as Connecticut has set up over 91 traps in various locations throughout the state; but Connecticut residents are anxiously waiting for the first frost of the year, as it should kill most of the mosquitoes who carry the disease. 

Right now, officials are saying that the best precautionary measures that you can take are to wear long sleeves, pants, and bug spray.