It’s officially fall, and temperatures have turned cooler but one unwelcome part of summer continues to linger – and that’s the risk of the mosquito-borne EEE virus.
Massachusetts state officials this past week confirmed an eighth case of EEE in the Commonwealth, and one person died from the virus in August. There have also been cases – and fatalities – from EEE in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Michigan.
While Triple E infections are rare, they can be deadly. And the risk will continue until there is a hard frost to kill off mosquitos. But that’s not necessarily the end of it. EEE-carrying culiseta mosquitos’ eggs can over-winter and hatch in the next season, according to Tonya Colpitts, Assistant Professor of Microbiology at Boston University.
“The cycle is maintained in nature between birds and bird-feeding mosquitoes, and it’s thought that sometimes these cooler set of mosquitoes will bite an incidental feeding source such as a horse or a human and that’s when they become infected,” said Colpitts.