OSWEGO – The threat of Eastern equine encephalitis continues.
Regardless of any person’s age or general health condition, Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is a rare but serious viral disease.
It is spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes and its fatality rate is high; between 30 and 70 percent.
For those who do survive the disease, many suffer mild to severe brain damage and may need round-the-clock care for the rest of their lives.
People of all ages are at risk for infection with the EEE virus, but those over age 50 and younger than 15 years of age have the greatest risk for developing severe disease.
The best defense people have against mosquito-borne disease is to use personal protection measures to prevent mosquito bites.
Everyone in the county, no matter what their age or health, needs to be vigilant in these practices, county health officials warn.
They include: limiting time outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active; wearing shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts when outdoors; and using mosquito repellent regularly.
Those containing DEET are most effective, but should be used with caution and according to label instructions.
Those containing picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus are also effective.
People need to also drain standing water around the home to reduce mosquito breeding sites and repair broken screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering the home.