BOSTON - A mosquito-borne virus known as EEE has killed at least three people in three states.
"Triple E is a serious disease," Dr. Catherine Brown of the Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health told the media. "And our hearts go out to our family and friends of everyone impacted by the disease."
At least three people in three states have died from the mosquito-borne virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, also known as EEE.
Massachusetts reported its first death in late August. On Friday, Michigan reported its first. And now Rhode Island is reporting the death of a person in their fifties.
There's usually only about five to ten human cases reported in the U.S. every year, but this year, Massachusetts alone is reporting at least seven cases including a 5-year-old girl who is hospitalized in critical condition.
"This is a disease that can strike people of all ages," says Dr. Brown.
The infection Encephalitis causes swelling of the brain. About 30 percent of people infected with EEE die, and many who survive have ongoing neurologic problems.
There is no vaccine or specific anti-viral treatment for EEE. The best way to prevent infection is to use EPA registered insect repellents, wearing long-sleeved pants and shirts, and taking steps to control mosquitoes in and around your home.
Story By: WBZ, Boston