EEE is Untreatable and Can Be Deadly. So Why is There Little Prospect for a Vaccine?

in Featured, In The News
September 12th, 2019

It’s been a bad year for Eastern equine encephalitis in Massachusetts. The mosquito-borne virus claimed the life of a Fairhaven woman and infected six other people, including a 5-year-old Sudbury girl.

EEE rarely makes people ill, but when it does the consequences are grave: One-third of those infected die, and most of those who survive suffer permanent neurological damage.

The Globe recently asked four experts about whether EEE can be prevented, and why it is so bad in the first place. Here’s what we learned.

Why aren’t there any vaccines?

There are. Several, in fact. A vaccine is available for horses, and several other vaccines are in development. But none has been approved for use in humans.

“The technology exists,” said Dan H. Barouch, director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “It just hasn’t been made yet.”

Click to read full article in The Boston Globe