First human case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis of 2020 | WisCommunity

First human case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis of 2020

September 2, 2020 - 11:58am
EEE Virus

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and the Eau Claire County Health Department today announced that laboratory testing has confirmed the first human case of eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus infection this year, in a female under the age of 18 who is a resident of Eau Claire County. As a result, DHS and Eau Claire County Health Department are reminding everyone to protect themselves from mosquito bites by using mosquito repellent any time they are outside.

Three cases of eastern equine encephalitis in horses had previously been reported in northwestern Wisconsin. EEE is a rare disease in humans that is potentially fatal and can affect people of any age. The most recent human EEE case in Wisconsin was reported in 2017. 

The single best preventative measure  is to avoid mosquito bites. The Eau Claire City/County Health Department advises that the best measures to avoid mosquito bites include:

• Apply an insect repellent with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 to exposed skin and clothing.

• Prior to heading outdoors, treat clothing with permethrin; do not apply permethrin directly to skin.

• Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning hours, when mosquitoes are most active.

• Wear long-sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors to help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.

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Steve Hanson
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Eau Claire, WI