Potentially Deadly Mosquito Carried Virus Found In Wicomico And - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Potentially Deadly Mosquito Carried Virus Found In Wicomico And Worcester Counties

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Wicomico County Health Department pamphlet explaining mosquito bite prevention (WBOC) Wicomico County Health Department pamphlet explaining mosquito bite prevention (WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md.- Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), a mosquito-carried virus, was identified last month in both Wicomico and Worcester Counties. EEE can cause mild to serious health symptoms for people if bitten, including death. 

The EEE infected mosquitoes were found in the Johnson Wildlife Management area in Salisbury and near Sheppard’s Crossing in Worcester County. The virus is carried and spread in the same way as West Nile and Zika.

EEE affects a small number of people in the United States each year according to Dennis DiCintio with the Wicomico County Health Department.

"Although it has a high fatality rate of approximately one third, some of the symptoms can be mild and some can be severe, but only five to ten people on average are infected across the county each year," DiCintio said. 

EEE symptoms include chills, muscle aches and joint pain on the mild side. The more severe symptoms like swelling of the brain and respiratory issues can lead to hospitalization or death. 

Chuck Mullaney live near the Johnson Wildlife Management area and said they are concerned about prevention and treatment. 

"Is there a cure or medicine if you get the virus. Is there a recommended spray to try and prevent it and will the county be spraying in this area to kill them," asked Mullaney.

According to DiCintio the only treatment is the treatment of the symptoms and there is no vaccine and no anti-viral medication for encephalitis.

 DiCintio said as is the case with other mosquito-borne diseases, the most effective way to avoid EEE is mosquito bite prevention. 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 since those areas can serve as mosquito breeding sites.

For more information on mosquito prevention, visit www.cdc.gov/features/stopmosquitoes/.

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