OLD LYME, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – Connecticut health officials say another person has died from the deadly mosquito-borne virus sweeping across the Northeast.
On Tuesday, Gov. Ned Lamont’s office confirmed the second death from Eastern Equine Encephalitis in the state this year.
These are the first deaths from EEE in Connecticut since 2013.
EEE is rare and serious illness transmitted to humans by a mosquito bite and had already killed at least at least eight people in the U.S. in 2019.
The CDC says, on average, just seven people contract EEE in the U.S. each year. More than two dozen have been infected in 2019, including multiple cases in New Jersey.
In severe cases, the virus can cause swelling in the brain, leading to death.
The latest death was reportedly an adult from Old Lyme who was hospitalized in mid-September.
The first fatality was recorded in East Lyme; a resident who was infected at some point in late August.
The CDC says a third of patients infected with EEE die from the brain-infecting virus. Despite finding EEE-carrying mosquitoes in at least 12 towns, Connecticut officials are urging residents not to panic and take the proper steps to keep mosquitoes away.
“Don’t panic, but please remember to use bug spray, wear long sleeves and pants, and try to avoid spending time outdoors after dusk. The good news is that as we continue to track and test mosquitoes throughout Connecticut, we are seeing a dramatic decrease in the number of mosquitoes testing positive for this virus as the cooler weather approaches,” Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz said.
According to the CDC, there is no human vaccine for Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
On Monday, Massachusetts officials announced the third death from EEE this year.