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Extended Warm Weather: Protect Yourself and Kids Against EEE

Long pants and sleeves, high socks, and some good mosquito repellent.

This month's continued warm weather is a blessing and a curse. Many of us are grateful to delay the inevitable slip into the cold Massachusetts winter.

As fall nears in the Boston area, cooler weather should help mosquitoes fade away and die off until they make their reemergence next season.

Unfortunately, the consistently warm weather is extending the Boston area mosquito season, providing new breeding opportunities, and preventing the death or hibernation of various mosquito species.

Aside from their annoying buzz and pesky bites, mosquitoes can carry a range of bacterial and viral illnesses. This year, we're concerned with Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE.

As of today, the Massachusetts Department of Health has confirmed 12 human cases of EEE in the state, with 3 confirmed deaths. Among those infected with the virus, a 5 year old girl in the nearby suburb of Sudbury (Sophia Garabedian), and a 70 year-old woman in Springfield.

EEE is a scary and dangerous virus. There is no vaccine available for humans, there is no gold-standard treatment for the infected, and it carries an overall mortality rate around 33%. Symptoms of EEE usually begin about 2 to 10 days after being bitten, and usually begin with a headache and high fever and quickly escalate to confusion, seizures, and possibly coma.

The good news is, Sophia (the 5 year old girl) is making a slow but steady recovery thanks to her courage, her parents' vigilance, and her doctors' and therapists' hard work. She and her parents have been brave and outspoken about their cautionary tale, hoping everyone realizes just how serious the situation is.

See the full article by Tal Ditye on here.


October 22, 2023

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