As one of the deadliest animals in the world, mosquitoes transmit a number of harmful, and often fatal, diseases. The most well known of these diseases include malaria, Zika virus, and West Nile virus.
In our last Mosquito-borne Illness Spotlight, we focused on malaria, a mosquito-borne illness that causes hundreds of thousands of deaths per year. In addition to these illnesses, mosquitoes are also responsible for transmitting a disease known as Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is one of the lesser-known diseases spread by mosquitoes. However, it can be quite serious, often leading to devastating effects. At Mosquito Authority, we make it a priority to educate our customers on not only how to practice mosquito control but also the negative and potentially harmful effects mosquitoes can have.
Here is some basic information about Eastern Equine Encephalitis and steps to prevent mosquito bites in and around your home:
Where does Eastern Equine Encephalitis most often occur?
Mosquitoes can be found all over the world, although only certain species are responsible for EEE. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most cases of EEE in the United States occurred in Massachusetts, Michigan, Florida, Georgia, New York, and North Carolina from 2010-2019.
What is Eastern Equine Encephalitis?
Eastern Equine Encephalitis is transmitted by mosquitoes of the Aedes, Coquillettidia, and Culex species. Although it is extremely rare, EEE can have very serious symptoms. Symptoms of EEE can range from fever and joint pain to encephalitis (swelling of the brain) and meningitis (swelling of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord). According to the CDC, about a third of EEE cases are fatal, while many survivors end up with mild to severe brain damage.
How is Eastern Equine Encephalitis transmitted?
EEE is transmitted to humans or animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. Similar to malaria, EEE cannot be directly transmitted from person to person. According to the CDC, “Transmission [of EEE] to humans requires mosquito species capable of creating a “bridge” between infected birds and uninfected mammals such as some Aedes, Coquillettidia, and Culex species…”
What precautions can be taken to help prevent mosquito bites around the home?
Taking the proper precautions when it comes to mosquito-proofing your yard and home is critical to mosquito control. Here are some ways you can help lower the risk of getting bitten by mosquitoes in your own outdoor space:
- To reduce your children’s risk of mosquito bites, dress them in clothing that covers their arms and legs.
- Always apply sunscreen before applying mosquito repellent.
- Always be sure to use an EPA-registered mosquito repellent and read the label and instructions thoroughly.
- Empty any items in your yard that can hold water such as flower pots, tire swings, birdbaths, and children’s toys.
- Keep patio or outside doors closed when possible to keep mosquitoes outside.
- Hire a professional mosquito control company
Mosquitoes are not only a nuisance, but they are also vectors for dangerous diseases. While DIY mosquito control is important, the best way to reduce your risk of mosquito bites and mosquito-borne illness at home is to hire a professional mosquito control company. At Mosquito Authority, our priority is ensuring your safety from mosquitoes and the diseases they carry.
To find your local mosquito control company, click here.