Sources of Mosquito-Borne Virus Found in Wicomico, Worcester Co.
Posted: Aug 10, 2016 3:02 PM EDT Updated: Aug 10, 2016 11:57 PM EDT
SNOW HILL, Md.- Public health officials in Wicomico and Worcester counties have identified two pools of the mosquito species that carry a virus that can be fatal to humans.
According to the Wicomico County Health Department, sources of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), were found last month in a rural part of Wicomico County and near Sheppard's Crossing in Worcester County.
The EEE virus is carried and transferred by Culiseta melanura mosquitoes in the same way that West Nile and Zika are spread, the health department said. Once someone is bitten by an EEE-infected mosquito, the incubation period ranges from four to 10 days. Symptoms can include chills, fever, joint and muscle pain and general discomfort, but some people do not show any symptoms, according to the health department.
The EEE virus can be fatal in roughly one out of every three infected people, and no direct treatment exists. People with milder illnesses typically recover on their own, although symptoms may last for several weeks. In more severe cases, patients often need to be hospitalized to receive supportive treatment, such as intravenous fluids, pain medication and nursing care.
Just like with other mosquito-borne illnesses, the most effective way to prevent EEE is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Use insect repellents and wear long sleeves while spending time outdoors, install or repair screens on windows and doors and remove standing water from your property. For more information on mosquito prevention, visit www.cdc.gov/features/stopmosquitoes/.