Connecticut health officials have announced that a third person has died from Eastern Equine Encephalitis and that a fourth person has been diagnosed with the mosquito-borne illness.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Matthew Cartter said Tuesday, Oct. 1, that an East Haddam resident who died during the third week of September was confirmed to have had Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The person, in their 60s, became ill during the second week of September, the Connecticut Department of Health said.
The department added that the CDC has also confirmed EEE to be the cause of illness for a resident of Colchester.
“Sadly, this has been an unprecedented year for EEE activity in Connecticut,” said Cartter. “Before this year we have had only one human case of EEE in Connecticut, and that was in 2013. ”
Carter said that in all there has been four human cases of EEE this year, three of which were fatal. All four, he added, were most likely exposed to the disease by infected mosquitoes.
“All four residents live in a part of eastern Connecticut where EEE activity has not been a problem before this summer," Cartter added.
And although Fall is on its way with cooler temperatures, Cartter said the risk of EEE would not be gone until the first hard frost.
Most people infected with EEE have no apparent illness, however, some can be very ill. Severe cases of EEE (involving encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain) begin with the sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting 4 to 10 days after a mosquito bite.
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