HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – Health officials in Connecticut are warning residents across the state about a mosquito-borne virus that can cause potentially fatal brain infections and has no treatment.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health says mosquitoes in 12 towns have already tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus.READ MORE: Westfield Home Invasion, Sexual Assault Suspect In Custody
EEE is rare and serious illness transmitted to humans by a mosquito bite and has already killed at least three people in the U.S. this year – including one case in New Jersey.
“Most people infected with EEE virus do not become ill. When symptoms do occur they can range from mild fever and headache to coma. Other symptoms include high fever, fatigue, muscle aches, neck stiffness, tremors, or confusion,” Connecticut health officials said.
“Severe cases include inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) which can lead to coma, convulsions, and death.”READ MORE: NYPD: Suspect Grabbed 11-Year-Old Girl's Hair, Tried To Choke Her At Stuyvesant Square Park
Making matter worse for residents in the Northeast, the CDC reports that there is no antiviral vaccine for EEE and patients who believe they’ve been infected should get to a doctor as soon as possible.
“The illness lasts one to two weeks, and recovery is complete when there is no central nervous system involvement,” the CDC explains.
The CDC added that one third of the patients who contract the rare illness die from it.MORE NEWS: Robert Durst Charged With 1982 Murder Of Former Wife Kathie Durst
To this point, there not been any human cases of EEE in Connecticut. Officials are urging residents to wear long-sleeved clothes when outside after dark and use insect repellent.