Suffolk, Va. (WTKR) – The City of Suffolk says they’ve detected the first instances of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in mosquitoes in Hampton Roads this season.
In a release, Suffolk reported that mosquitoes collected in Huntersville, Olde Mill Creek, Wonderland Forest, Drivers Station and Pughsville all tested positive for EEE last week.
While EEE is rare in humans, it is common in horses.
A EEE infection in humans will typically start as flu-like symptoms, before progressing to disorientation, seizures and brain infections according to the City of Suffolk.
In some cases, it can be fatal.
Suffolk says Mosquito Control operations are intensifying spraying, surveillance and treatment of standing water in the areas where EEE-positive mosquitoes have been found.
In Chesapeake, the Mosquito Control Commission reports since they began daily testing of mosquitoes for EEE and West Nile Virus in early June, there have been no positive results so far.
“There is the potential that it could be transferred to horses or to humans, so we want to monitor what that disease activity is doing in our local area to make sure we are protecting our citizens,” Senior Biologist Lisa Wagenbrenner told NewsChannel 3’s Todd Corillo.
Wagenbrenner took NewsChannel 3 inside the lab where mosquitoes collected from traps across Chesapeake are tested.
This year they are paying special attention to one variety of mosquitoes called Coquillettidia perturbans, or salt and pepper mosquitoes.
“Last year we had a boom in just one specific area – this year it’s been kind of spread out throughout the city so we are really monitoring the level of that particular mosquito species because they are known carriers of EEE,” Wagenbrenner explained.
The Chesapeake Mosquito Control Commission says it is important to keep track of EEE so that they can do effective spray treatments and keep citizens safe.
No human cases of EEE have ever been reported in Chesapeake or Suffolk.
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