The second person who contracted EEE in Connecticut had died, Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz said during a news conference Tuesday.
One of the people who died after contracting EEE was from East Lyme. The other was from Old Lyme. Both people were adults. These were the first deaths from EEE in Connecticut since 2013.
"What we're trying to let you know is, we're being cautious. State government is being cautious on your behalf and we're urging you to be careful," Gov. Ned Lamont said. "No need to panic."
Lamont, Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz and the leaders of several state agencies were at a news conference Tuesday afternoon to discuss the state’s response to Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE.
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Most of the cases of mosquitoes that have tested positive for EEE have been in southeastern Connecticut. That has prompted local officials in several towns to alter sporting events and urge residents to limit outdoor evening activities when mosquitoes are most active, from an hour before dusk to dawn.
State officials said the good news is that the number of mosquitoes as well as the number of mosquitoes with EEE is declining, but there are still some with the virus.
The state Department of Transportation will be helping get the word out to residents as well as people who are traveling through the state.
EEE is rare, but 30 percent of those who contract the disease die, and many others are left with brain damage, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Symptoms of EEE include headache, high fever, chills and vomiting. They might then progress with disorientation, seizures and coma. There is no specific treatment.
Cases of EEE Virus in Connecticut:
A resident of East Lyme and another in Old Lyme both died after contracting EEE.
EEE is diagnosed through blood or spinal fluid.
Mosquitoes in These Towns Tested Positive for EEE:
EEE has been detected in mosquitoes trapped in Chester, Groton, Haddam, Hampton, Killingworth, Ledyard, Madison, North Stonington, Plainfield, Shelton, South Windsor, Stonington and Voluntown.
It has also been found in horses in Colchester, Columbia, Salem, Sterling and Voluntown.
What You Need to Know About Eastern Equine Encephalitis:
Eastern Equine encephalitis virus is also spread through bites from infected mosquitoes and the state Department of Health reports EEE is rare in the United States with an average of seven cases reported each year. No vaccine is available.
Approximately one third of people who become sick from EEEV will die from the illness, according to the state Department of Health. They urge that early treatment can lower the risk of complications and death.
It has been found in mosquitoes in Voluntown.
Find out what you need to know about the symptoms from the CDC.
How to Reduce Your Chances to Contracting EEE:
Use mosquito repellant, cover bare skin and decrease the amount of time you are outside from an hour before dusk until dawn.