Triple-E Virus Hits Monroe County

Photo Courtesy/ Shuttershock First found in horses, the Triple-E Virus now spreads via birds and mosquitoes.

Daniela Montiel 

Contributing Writer

A new virus has reached the Poconos, and some people are beginning to worry about how they may be affected by it.

The Triple-E virus, also known as the Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus, is a deadly disease that causes swelling in the brain. It’s considered an equine disease because according to the Vector Disease Control International (VDCI), the first cases of this virus was first found in Massachusetts, primarily in horses back in 1831. Since then, this disease has grown to spread from smaller animals such as birds and mosquitoes to horses and humans.  

According to ScienceNews, in the United States, there have been one hundred and three reported cases and thirty percent of them have occurred this year. Of the thirty-one people so far, and nine have died.

Unfortunately, there’s no happy ending for people who are not killed by this disease because they often go on to live with lasting brain damage. The VDCI says this neuroinvasive disease has the highest mortality rate in the U.S. at thirty-three percent.

In an interview with Dr. Boyd, an associate professor of Health Studies, she said that this issue is important much like any vector-borne disease and a certain level of knowledge is necessary to reduce the number of people affected. 

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) there are two forms of symptoms, systemic and encephalitic. The systemic symptoms occur abruptly and appear as chills, fevers, uneasiness, joint pain, and sore muscles. The CDC further describes the encephalitic symptoms as “fevers, headaches, irritability, restlessness, drowsiness, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, cyanosis, convulsions, and coma.”

Symptoms of the virus appear after a few days of systemic symptoms for older kids and adults.  

Although the information is frightening, it’s imperative that people have as much knowledge on this disease as possible.  

Dr. Boyd informed me that she first found out about this issue through Twitter by following the CDC, which is a great way to remain up to date with what is going on so you can be aware of viruses such as the Tripe-E virus. 

It is also effective to understand how to avoid becoming a victim to EEEV.  

According to WNEP, “The CDC says the best way to protect yourself against Triple E is by wearing bug spray, particularly ones with the ingredient DEET. The CDC also recommends people wear long sleeves and pants.”  

Dr. Boyd further stated that to prevent being affected protect yourself as if it is a regular mosquito. Make sure you stay away from swamps and areas with swarms of mosquitoes. Hopefully, with the cold weather approaching, infected mosquitos will die off and the threat will subside.

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