October 4, 2019 - Holly Foxworth

EEEV! Can It Happen to Me?


EEE VirusPerhaps you’ve heard in the news or noticed recent highway signs posted by the DOT, warning of EEEV.

To clear up the confusion, we’ve put together some basic information to keep you in the know.

What is EEE Virus?

Eastern Equine Encephalitis is one of several New World encephalitis viruses. It is also what is known as an arbovirus — viruses that are spread by a mosquito or other arthropod. West Nile is another kind of arbovirus.

The virus is found in the northeast of the country as well as along the Great Lakes and the Gulf Coast. It is also occasionally found in Canada.

What are the Symptoms?

According to the CDC, the incubation period for Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus (EEEV) disease (the time from an infected mosquito bite to onset of illness) ranges from 4 to 10 days.

EEEV infection can result in one of two types of illness:

  • Systemic

  • Encephalitic (involving swelling of the brain).

The type of illness will depend on the age of the person and other host factors. It is possible that some people who become infected with EEEV may be asymptomatic (will not develop any symptoms).

Systemic infection has an abrupt onset and is characterized by:

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Malaise
  • Arthralgia
  • Myalgia

The illness lasts 1 to 2 weeks, and recovery is complete when there is no central nervous system involvement.

Encephalitic infection symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Drowsiness
  • Anorexia
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Cyanosis
  • Convulsions
  • Coma

Prevention

The most effective way to prevent infection from the Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus is to prevent mosquito bites!

  • Use insect repellent.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Take steps to control mosquitoes indoors and outdoors.

Remember – should you suspect that you may have been exposed to the Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus, seek treatment immediately!  Approximately a third of all people with EEE die from the disease.  Of those who recover, many are left with disabling and progressive mental and physical disability.


Posted in CDC, Employee Health Management, Employee Health Medical Management, Health Advisory, Workplace Safety