While the world is focused on the Zika Virus, spread by mosquitoes, in Worcester we can’t forget to protect ourselves and our horses from Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Commonly referred to as EEE (Triple E), the mosquito-borne disease is rare but deadly, and Massachusetts happens to be the #1 state for human cases of EEE.
What is Eastern Equine Encephalitis?
With 24 cases of human EEE in Massachusetts from 2004-2013, it is important for all Worcester residents to know what to look for and how to prevent EEE. Transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito, the EEE virus is a rare illness in humans. What makes it so scary is that it is one of the most severe mosquito-borne diseases with a 33% mortality rate for humans and a 70-90% mortality rate for horses with EEE. The devastating illness leaves 80% of surviving humans with significant brain damage.
Symptoms of EEE in Horses
Horses are at a particularly high risk for Triple E in Worcester. Symptoms of EEE in horses can include blindness, lack of appetite, uncoordinated gait, walking aimlessly often in circles, depression, staggering, and seizures once the disease attacks the central nervous system. Death can occur within days of a horse transmitting the EEE virus.
Symptoms of EEE in Humans
Humans infected with EEE can come down with two types of illness, systemic and encephalitic. Systemic illness can include sudden onset of depression, chills, fever, muscle pain, joint aches and chills. System EEE illness usually lasts about 1-2 weeks, and there is no specific treatment or cure. If EEE is encephalitic it can be a sudden onset of symptoms for infants, but for adults it usually comes on after a few days of systemic illness. Symptoms may include a headache, fever, restlessness, irritability, drowsiness, anorexia, diarrhea, vomiting, convulsions and coma. According to the CDC, 1/3 of all patients die from EEE, and those who do survive can be left with debilitating mental and physical side effects.
Preventing EEE for Everyone
There is a recommended vaccine for EEE in horses. Unfortunately, there is currently no EEE vaccine for humans. To protect you, your family and your horses, eliminating mosquitoes from your property and horse barn is a great way to lower your risks. Our traditional barrier spray eliminates 85-90% of mosquitoes on your property. We also offer automatic mosquito misting systems, perfect for horse barns and stables; the system will eliminate more than 90% of mosquitoes consistently and constantly all season long. Call today; we’ll help you decide the best Worcester mosquito control method to meet your needs.