The EEE virus – another lurking danger?

We know the mosquito is one of the deadliest creatures on the planet.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says this tiny insect that buzzes in your ear (why does it do that?) kills at least one million people per year globally.

Asian Tiger mosquito can transmit harmful diseases like Zika virus, West Nile virus, Chikungunya and dengue fever.

Now, there are reports of a rare but scary virus called Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain. And as with dengue fever and other “vector-borne” diseases, there is no treatment or cure available. As you can tell from the name, horses are also especially at risk for the disease, but are not “hosts.”

Aedes aegypti, the yellow fever mosquito, is a mosquito that can spread dengue fever, chikungunya, Zika fever.

So far, EEE has caused at least five deaths in three U.S. states this year. And yes, you’ve guessed it – it is spread through mosquito bites.

Why is it so frightening? Because 33 percent of humans that acquire it will die. It is rare because it mainly occurs in and around swampy areas, where not many people live. As with dengue fever and others, children and older persons are the most likely to develop the severe disease, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Although the weather will be cooling down in the U.S. now, with climate change things are heating up generally. There is also a lot of air travel to the Caribbean.

EEE has caused at least five deaths in three U.S. states this year.

We just hope EEE will not touch down here!

33 percent of humans that acquire EEE will die.

Meanwhile, you know what to do. As the Ministry of Health and Wellness in Jamaica advises us, remember to destroy the places where mosquitoes love to live and breed – especially standing water around the house. Use mosquito repellent with DEET, wear clothing that covers arms and legs, and close doors and windows at dawn and dusk. The Ministry suggests the use of mosquito nets and window screens. To steal the Ministry’s slogan…

Fight the bite!