Eastern Equine Encephalitis:
Mosquito-borne illnesses continue to pose a significant threat across various parts of the world, and one of the latest additions to this concern is the emergence of the Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus in the United States.
- This rare virus has recently been reported in Alabama and New York, with serious implications for public health.
- Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain (encephalitis). It spreads to people and animals by the bite of an infected mosquito.
- EEE was first identified in horses in Massachusetts, United States, in 1831.
- EEE is caused by the Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus (EEEV), which belongs to the genus Alphavirus and the family Togaviridae.
- EEE virus has a single-stranded, positive-sense RNA genome.
- EEEV is primarily transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes, particularly species belonging to the Culiseta melanura group.
- These mosquitoes feed on both birds (reservoir hosts) and mammals, including humans and horses (dead-end hosts).
- The virus does not spread between humans or from animals like horses to humans.
- The virus typically begins with high fever, headache, chills, and nausea.
- As the infection advances, more serious symptoms may develop, including seizures, disorientation, and even coma.