The Worcester County Health Department is urging you to protect yourself from a rare infection. Officials say mosquitoes in the Whaleyville area recently tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis. EEE can cause an inflammation of the brain, and symptoms include fever, headache, chills and vomiting. People are being asked to remove standing water around their homes and make sure you use insect repellent if you’re going to be outside.
Signs and Symptoms
People with milder illnesses typically recover on their own, although symptoms may last for several weeks. In more severe cases, patients need to be hospitalized to receive supportive treatment. Signs and symptoms of Eastern Equine Encephalitis include fever, headache, irritability, restlessness, drowsiness, vomiting, diarrhea, cyanosis, convulsions, and coma. Anyone with possible symptoms of EEE should contact a health care provider immediately.
Horse owners can protect their horses from EEE with a vaccine, contact your veterinarian for information.
The Worcester and Wicomico County Health Department provides the following tips to help prevent contact with mosquitoes and reduce risk of infection with EEE or other mosquito borne illnesses:
● Remove standing water around your home; as little as one-half inch of water will support dozens of mosquitoes. Remove or turn over buckets, bottles, and other containers; discard old tires or drill drainage holes in tires used for playground equipment; clean rain gutters; store canoes, wheelbarrows, and plastic wading pools upside down; flush birdbaths and the bottom of plant holders twice a week; remove pet food and water dishes that are not being used; adjust tarps (over pools, boats, etc.) to eliminate standing water; fix dripping faucets.
● Wear clothing that covers the arms, legs, and feet whenever you are outdoors.
● Use mosquito repellents sparingly on exposed skin. An effective repellent will contain 20% to 30% DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide). Higher concentrations may cause side effects, particularly in children. Avoid applying repellents to the hands of children and do not use repellents on children under 3 years of age. Follow package instructions carefully.
● Spray clothing with repellents containing permethrin or DEET as mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing.
● Minimize outdoor activities at dawn, dusk, and in the early evening when mosquitoes are most active.
● Inspect window and door screens and repair any holes found.
For more prevention tips and information about Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) visit