Know the Facts | Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus

What is Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus?

Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus (EEEV or Triple E) is a mosquito-borne disease that is spread through mosquitoes who have bitten an infected bird. The primary EEEV vector is a swamp mosquito called the black-tailed mosquito which transmits the virus to birds, or becomes infected by feeding on infected birds in their swampland habitat. When a mosquito that typically feeds on humans feeds on the infected bird instead, they then contract EEEV. That mosquito then transmits the illness to horses and humans through an additional bite.

What should I know about EEEV?

While the probability of getting EEEV is low, it is still important to be aware of the symptoms and importance of protecting yourself, however infrequent the cases are. Human EEEV cases occur so infrequently because the primary transmission cycle takes place in and around swampy areas where human populations tend to be limited. If you are someone who works outdoors or engages in recreational activities in endemic areas, it’s especially important to be aware of the virus. Although anyone can contract the disease, those under the age of 15 and over 50 are at a higher risk of a severe case of EEEV.

What should I know about Triple E in 2019?

In the United States, few human cases are reported each year. According to the CDC, in 2018, only 6 human cases were reported nationwide. However, 2019 has seen a rise in the number of human cases totaling to over 30 confirmed or suspected cases in seven states: Michigan, Tennessee, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Jersey. The CDC has provided a comprehensive map of confirmed cases by state from 2010-2019, as well as updating the map whenever new cases are confirmed. You can also view confirmed cases for other mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile Virus, Zika and Dengue fever.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC notes that there are two forms of EEEV: systemic or encephalitic. Systemic infection has an abrupt onset and can result in fever and chills. The illness lasts one to two weeks and recovery is complete when there is no central nervous system involvement. The encephalitic form starts as systemic but will manifest into more serious symptoms, such as fever, headache, irritability and in some cases brain damage. It usually takes between four and 10 days after being bitten to notice symptoms. If you or anyone you know starts to show any symptoms it is important to contact your healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment.

How is EEEV treated?

While the disease can be prevented in horses with the use of vaccinations, there is no preventative or cure for EEEV available for humans. According to the CDC, “Patients with suspected EEE should be evaluated by a healthcare provider, appropriate serologic and other diagnostic tests ordered and supportive treatment provided.”

What can I do to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses?

technician sprayingThe best prevention against Eastern Equine Encephalitis is a reduction of mosquito populations and the avoidance of mosquito bites. Professional mosquito control services such as the barrier treatment offered by Mosquito Joe® provides the best defense against mosquito-borne illnesses like EEEV. Additionally, eliminating breeding areas on your property keeps mosquitoes from producing and reduces the risk of getting sick from a mosquito bite. To help reduce the population on your property, consider the following:

  • Unblock drains and gutters
  • Have fans in outdoor spaces to eliminate mosquitoes from flying close by
  • Avoid allowing standing water to accumulate in outdoor containers such as flowerpots, tires, dog bowls, etc.
  • Screen windows and doors
  • Use mosquito repellant and wear protective clothing (long  sleeves and long pants)
  • Let Mosquito Joe be your second line of defense by getting a barrier treatment that protects your yard from mosquitoes, ticks and fleas

At Mosquito Joe, we take our job of keeping your yard itch-free seriously.  With our licensed technicians and a passion for making outside fun again, our job is not done until you and your family are happy. To add an added layer of defense against mosquitoes in your outdoor spaces, contact your local Mosquito Joe today to enjoy a bite-free yard!

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Fun Activities for Fall

 

For many, fall means colder temperatures, pumpkin spiced treats, and of course, the changing of the leaves. Fall is the perfect time for you and your family to take advantage of various outdoor seasonal activities. Keep reading for different ways to enjoy one of the best times of the year. 

Visit a Pumpkin Patch

Fall and pumpkins seem to go hand in hand. Take an opportunity to visit your local pumpkin patch! This is a great opportunity to learn how pumpkins are grown and to enjoy some locally-sourced pumpkin treats! You can also get an early start on your Halloween decorations by choosing pumpkins to carve with your family. Looking for ideas on how to carve your pumpkin? Check out Pinterest for fun and scary examples. If you think your pumpkin looks good enough to put on display, look for pumpkin carving contests in your area.

Take a hayride

During this time of year, hayrides are extremely popular as they’re a great way to enjoy the scenery in your area. Most hayrides take place on farms, giving you a first-hand view of the fall produce. If you’re a bit of a thrill seeker, there are many farms that offer haunted hayrides just in time for Halloween! 

Host a bonfire

Everyone can appreciate the slight chill that comes with fall weather. One of the best ways to enjoy it is to have a bonfire. There are a couple of steps to building a bonfire. First make sure bonfires are allowed in your local area. Next, select a safe area that is away from any buildings or structures. To build the bonfire, you’ll need stones or bricks to form the perimeter, sticks for kindling, and fuel. Once the fire has been built, you can set up blankets for seating, roast marshmallows, make s’mores, and sing your favorite campfire songs! Click here for more information on how to safely build bonfires!

Go hiking

 Another way to enjoy the fall colors is to see them up close. What better way than going on a hike? Not only is it an excuse to get out of the house, it’s also a great to stay active during the cooler months. Depending on your preferred level of difficulty, you can choose a trail with hills for a good workout, or one that allows for a more leisure walk. Before heading out, make sure to protect yourself and your family from ticks that can hide in wooded areas by wearing long sleeves and tick repellant.

Try out a fall recipe

With holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, fall is the perfect time to experiment with new recipes. Take advantage of fall produce such as cranberries, butternut squash and brussel sprouts. Your local farmer’s market will have a number of seasonal fruits and vegetables that you can incorporate into your fall menu. Impress your friends and family with this Harvest Pear-Blackberry Pie!

Fall can be a great time to enjoy the changes outdoors, but the cooler temperatures don’t mean that outdoor pests such as mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas are gone for good. Mosquitoes can thrive in temperatures above 50 degrees while ticks can continue to be active in temperatures above 45 degrees. Make sure to keep your outdoor spaces bite-free this fall by calling Mosquito Joe. Click here to find a location near you! 

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