CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – The Chesapeake Health Department announced Tuesday there has been increasing eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) activity detected by the Chesapeake Mosquito Control Commission.
Health officials say that EEE is spread by a bit of infected mosquito, which is usually rare in humans but said mosquitoes have been testing positive for the disease at a higher than normal rate so far this summer.
“With the recent rains leading to more mosquitoes, it’s important for residents of Chesapeake to take precautions to protect themselves and their families,” said Chesapeake Health Director Dr. Nancy Welch.
Most people experience mild flu-like symptoms but serve cases of EEE can lead to meningitis, encephalitis, paralysis or death. Severe symptoms are seen more in people over the age of 50, or under the age of 15, according to Virginia Department of Health officials.
Chesapeake Health Officials say the best prevention for EEE is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes along with these other recommendations:
- Use an age-appropriate insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient and follow the directions on the package.
- Use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants when most mosquitoes are active.
- Have good screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
- Eliminate mosquito breeding areas where rainwater collects; turn over or empty bird baths, flower pots, buckets, or barrels; clean roof gutters and downspouts; remove old tires from your yard; shake out tarps weekly; empty wading pools when not in use
Anyone experiencing symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, confusion and lethargy should seek medical attention right away.