Evidence of potentially deadly mosquito-borne virus found in Mercer County

Local News

There is no cure for EEE and three of every 10 people who get the disease die from it

FILE - In this Aug. 26, 2019, file photo, Salt Lake City Mosquito Abatement District biologist Nadja Reissen examines a mosquito in Salt Lake City. State and federal health officials are reporting a higher than usual number of deaths and illnesses from a rare, mosquito-borne virus this year. Eastern equine encephalitis has been diagnosed in a score of people in six states and several people have died so far this year.

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

STONEBORO, Pa. (WKBN) – Evidence of Eastern Equine Encephalitis — which can cause a potentially deadly disease — has been found in a Mercer County community, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Officials with the Department of Environmental Protection will be spraying for mosquitoes Wednesday in Stoneboro, where the evidence was found. The spraying will happen in the vicinity of McComb Road, Route 965, Bradley Road and Hendersonville Road, depending on the weather.

EEE is a rare but serious disease caused by a virus. The virus infects birds that live in freshwater swamps and is spread from bird to bird by infected mosquitoes.

If a mosquito infected with the virus bites a horse or human, the animal or person can become sick. Symptoms range from a high fever and headache to swelling of the brain, causing some patients to go into a coma.

There is no cure for EEE and three of every 10 people who get the disease die from it.

All doctors can do is lower the fever and ease the pressure on the brain. Some people who survive this disease will be permanently disabled. Few people recover completely, according to DEP.

The risk of getting EEE is highest from late July through September.

You can find more information on EEE here.

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