Indiana residents should take precautions against
mosquito bites, such as applying mosquito repellent to
both exposed skin and clothing (Juno Styles)
"Eastern Equine Encephalitis is potentially a very serious disease that can cause lifetime neurological disabilities. The only encephalitis of greater severity to humans than EEE is rabies," said Jennifer House, DVM, veterinary epidemiologist at the Indiana State Department of Health, in an August 12 press release. "The combined threat of Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile virus in northern counties of the state makes it vital for residents in those areas to take steps to prevent mosquito bites."
Indianapolis area residents traveling to the northern part of the state should take precautions against mosquito bites, such as limiting outdoor time between dusk and dawn, wearing a mosquito repellent that contains DEET, picaradin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus, and using mosquito netting while sleeping outdoors.
For additional tips on how to prevent a mosquito bite, see the article "Indiana health officials remind Hoosiers to protect themselves from mosquito-transmitted diseases."
Symptoms of Eastern Equine Encephalitis
The Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus is found in mosquitoes and birds that live in freshwater, hardwood swamps. Humans contract Eastern Equine Encephalitis when a mosquito carrying the virus bites them. Humans do not spread the disease once they are infected.
Symptoms of Eastern Equine Encephalitis appear within 3 to 10 days after the infecting mosquito bite. Symptoms include:
- Sensitivity to light
- Flu-like symptoms
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Lack of coordination,
- Loss of consciousness
While Eastern Equine Encephalitis is rare in humans, it has the potential to be deadly. According to state health officials, approximately 30 percent of infected humans die from the disease, while 50 percent of those who survive experience permanent neurological problems.
CDC reports show the last confirmed case of human Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Indiana was in 1998.
Video: Protecting Against Mosquitoes and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (The University of Maine)
- Indiana health officials offer tips on how to control mosquitoes and prevent bites
- Old tires are prime breeding ground for mosquitoes
- As the temperature rises, so does the risk of mosquito-transmitted diseases
- West Nile virus discovered in Marion County - What is West Nile virus and what are the symptoms?
- More mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus found in Marion County - Which Indianapolis neighborhoods have reported positive for the virus? (updated)