“EEE” Triple Threat
Published: Friday, September 14, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 14, 2012 14:09
Attention all Smithies. It’s your favorite time of year: mosquito season! All of you should have just received a rather unsettling email reminding all Northampton residents to be hyper aware of protecting themselves against mosquitoes, specifically the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV).
It has been noted that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has recently rated the risk level of the virus in Northampton as “moderate,” while neighboring towns such as South Hadley and Amherst have been rated “high” in risk.
According to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, EEE is a “rare but serious disease caused by a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito.” These mosquitoes are usually found near freshwater and swamps, so make sure to get rid of any excess water that surrounds your home, since that is where many of the nasty bugs fester.
Symptoms that are directly associated to EEE include a high fever, stiff neck, backache and lethargy that usually lasts from three to 10 days, The Hampshire Gazette has reported. Unfortunately, there is no treatment that cures EEE, so make sure to protect yourself as best you can by using copious amounts of bug repellant and covering your legs and arms so that your chances of being bitten dramatically decrease.
Also, a safe measure for protecting yourself against EEE would be making sure to repair any holes in your window screens and especially making sure screens are firmly attached to any doors or windows. Don’t let those vicious little critters get to you!
EEE, which is also known as “Triple E” or “sleeping sickness,” and, according to Wikipedia, EEE first manifested in Massachusetts in 1831 when 75 horses died of encephalitic illness.
Wear bug spray that includes DEET when you are going outside for a prolonged period of time, and avoid swamps.