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Transmission cycle of Eastern Equine Encephalitis
Transmission cycle of Eastern Equine Encephalitis

Vermont combats Eastern Equine Encephalitis

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Vermont is working to prevent the spread of Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Two cases have been reported so far, both on the western side of the state. One man died from the disease Tuesday.

Aerial spraying of insecticide is scheduled to begin in Addison and Rutland counties on Thursday night between 8 to 11 p.m. The health department encourages people to stay inside during the spraying, and to protect themselves against mosquito bites.

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Reported by

Sarah Harris
Reporter and Producer

A Vermont man died Tuesday from Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a rare mosquito-borne disease that affects humans and horses.

This is the first instance of the disease in humans in Vermont. Two cases have been reported so far, both on the western side of the state. 

Erica Burl is an infectious diseases epidemiologist with the Vermont Department of Health. She says that in some cases, eastern equine encephalitis can be severe, even fatal.

"There’s probably a range of illness it can cause, probably most people who got bit by an infected mosquito won’t get ill, but the problem is that people who do get ill, the illness tends to be very severe. It can have a fatality rate of up to 35% of people who develop the severe form," Burl said.  

The state is taking precautions to prevent the disease from spreading. 

"Because we’ve found eastern equine encephalitis in some mosquito pools," Erica Burl explained, "we’re going to do an aerial spray targeting the place where we think the mosquitos are breeding and hopefully hope to knock down the numbers of mosquito that way."

Aerial spraying of insecticide is scheduled to begin in Addison and Rutland counties on Thursday night between 8 to 11 p.m. The health department encourages people to stay inside during the spraying, and to protect themselves against mosquito bites. 

 

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