What to Know
- Two more people in New Jersey were confirmed to be infected with a potentially deadly mosquito-borne illness
- The new cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE, were found in Atlantic and Union counties. The first case was found in Somerset County
- The potentially deadly EEE can lead to flu-like symptoms including headaches, high fever, joint and muscle pain, confusion and vomiting
Two more people in New Jersey were confirmed to be infected with a potentially deadly mosquito-borne illness that has been spreading across the region.
The new cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a rare illness that people under the age of 15 or over 50 are particularly susceptible to, were found in Atlantic and Union counties. The first human case in the state was discovered in Somerset County in August.
Union County officials discovered a mosquito carrying EEE inside traps set up for West Nile Virus. The mayor of Berkeley Heights said they have been doing night sprays of public spaces to make sure that the illness doesn’t spread, and the town is informing parents what can be done to protect their families, including draining unwanted pooled water.
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Those who have the virus may never actually get sick, but for others it can lead to flu-like symptoms including strong headaches, sudden high fever, joint and muscle pain, confusion, vomiting and chills that come about three to 15 days after the infected mosquito bites. In very rare severe cases, it can cause an inflammation of the brain — and a third of people who have contracted EEE have died, according to the Center for Disease Control.
Those in the affected areas who have been bitten and are experiencing the symptoms are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider as soon as possible.
In total, seven people have died around the country and at least 27 people have been infected. The latest reported deaths were in Connecticut and Massachusetts.