Eastern Equine Encephalitis found in Worcester County - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Eastern Equine Encephalitis found in Worcester County

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POCOMOKE, Md.-A mosquito pool in the Pocomoke River State Park tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis.

Nurse Kathleen Rose Derr with the Worcester County Health Department said the eastern equine encephalitis virus is rare. There hasn't been a case in humans reported since 1989.  
"How it occurs is when an infected mosquito bites a bird. The bird doesn't suffer any illness, but the bird is actually where the virus amplifies so then another mosquito comes along and bites the bird and spreads it, and then bites a horse or a human and that's how the disease is spread," said Rose Derr.

Eastern equine encephalitis is similar to West nile or Chickungunya, but the virus prefers to form in swampy coastal areas of the United States. If you do contract the virus in some cases you might not even know it. In some cases you will show symptoms.

"You might have a fever and body aches, muscle aches, joint aches, but it might not even occur to you to go to the doctor. You'll resolve that all by yourself with no treatment. It's very rare that it presents with an encephalitis, or swelling of the brain," said Rose Derr.

There have only been four reported cases of encephalitis from the virus in Maryland since 1964.  

Mosquitos can breed in up to a quarter inch of water and even something as small as a bottle cap can contain enough water for a mosquito to breed 

"You should just kind of look around your back yard and see if there are any mosquito breeding areas, or any standing water you can dump and wear a mosquito repellent when you go outside," said Rose Derr. 

The virus is most commonly found in the Summer and the Fall. 

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