Chesapeake, Va. (WAVY) - Multiple cities in Hampton Roads have found mosquitoes that test positive for EEE.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis is a virus that can have no symptoms or flu-like symptoms. But, if the virus attacks the nervous system, it can cause more serious symptoms, like a coma or even death.
Chesapeake Health officials announced on their website that EEE has been found within the city.
WAVY.com spoke to Virginia Beach biologists who have also been testing for EEE this summer. Dreda Symonds said the warm winter and spring causes the virus to grow faster.
"[There's] a peak in population, followed by a warm winter, followed by a warm spring," Symonds said. "Circumstances have been all for this mosquito."
Chesapeake Mosquito Control Director Joe Simmons says the virus is more prevalent than ever.
"The potential is there for that virus to be transmitted, number one, to horses and, heaven forbid, possibly to humans. Is there some imminent danger? No, but the possibility is there," Simmons said.
There are ways you can protect yourself from EEE.
- Limit outdoor activity around dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are biting.
- Wear loose, long and light-colored clothing.
- Use bug spray on exposed skin and apply it to your face.
- Use bug spray that has the smallest amount of DEET in it that is necessary to kill mosquitoes. (Do not use spray with more than 50 percent DEET for adults, or more than 10% DEET for children under 12.)
- Get rid of standing water on your property.
Dr. Heidi Kulberg with the Chesapeake Health Department says 95 percent of people bit will show no signs of symptoms.
"The majority of people would notice they have mosquito bites which come with their own annoyances but [they're] not really dangerous," Kulberg said.
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