Mosquitoes and the Triple E Threat in Northeast Pennsylvania

Mosquitoes are known as the most dangerous insects in the world. While their bite may seem like an itchy annoyance, these warm-weather loving pests can leave more than just a little red bump.

Mosquitoes are known to transmit serious diseases, such as West Nile, Malaria, and Yellow Fever. Recently, there has been a spike in a neurological virus that could be very deadly.

A recent outbreak of Eastern Equine Encephalitis has been circulating, and the best way to keep you and your family protected is to prevent it. Here’s what you need to know about the Triple E threat.

knowing the symptoms of triple EWhat is Eastern Equine Encephalitis?

Triple E is a virus that attacks the brain and spinal cord of its victim, the results of which can be deadly. However, most people infected with Triple E will not experience symptoms. Those who do feel the effects of the disease will encounter flu-like symptoms within the first few days. Once inside, the virus replicates and travels through the bloodstream.

Unfortunately, about 5% of people may develop a rare infection that could turn deadly if the virus crosses the brain-blood barrier. This results in the most severe symptoms: swelling and inflammation of the brain. This severe case is encephalitis. Though people rarely contract it, it can have fatal results. 30% of people who contract the serious form of Triple E will die or experience neurological problems permanently.

How Can I Get Triple E?

People can contract Eastern Equine Encephalitis from being bitten by an infected female mosquito. Marsh lovers by nature, these biting pests contract this deadly disease from infected birds that live in the surrounding area. This virus can be spread through these deadly little pests to other mammals, including horses. While other animals are affected, the most profound impact has been seen with humans and horses.

These infected mosquitoes are commonly found on the Gulf Coast. Reported cases have sprouted across the coast in some of the following states: Florida, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. The height of the danger is between the late spring until early fall, when mosquito populations are most prominent.

Is Triple E Contagious?

Fortunately, Triple E cannot be passed through physical contact from person-to-person. It can’t be spread from animals to people, or even animals to animals. The only way to spread this deadly virus is through the bloodstream or through an infected mosquito.

What Are The Symptoms of Triple E?

Not everyone is bitten by an infected mosquito will experience symptoms. Those who do will start to have similar ailments mirroring the flu. Symptoms include sudden high fever, chills, and aches in the muscles and joints. These flu-like symptoms typically last up to two weeks. Unfortunately, severe cases also start to experience the same symptoms. However, four days later, signs of a brain infection start to show. These symptoms include confusion, excessive drowsiness, and bad headaches. These complications can become more serious resulting in coma or death.

One in three people who do survive the more severe infection die within ten days. Those who do survive must live with permanent brain damage, intellectual impairment, paralysis, and personality disorders. Unfortunately, no vaccine exists to prevent Triple E.

keep the mosquitos out

How Can I Avoid Triple E?

Fortunately, mosquitoes aren’t strong flyers. They can’t travel incredibly far. Still, the best way to stay safe is to take precautions, especially during and between late spring and early fall.

Here are some tips to follow.

  • Repair Everything: Keep mosquitoes out of your home by performing regular maintenance on your property. Make sure pests stay out by not letting them in in the first place. Repair any holes in screens and windows. Seal up cracks and potential entryways.
  • Don’t Stand for Standing Water: Mosquitoes rely on stagnant pools of water to breed and lay their eggs. Be mindful of areas in your yard that may gather water: gutters, birdbaths, lawn equipment, tarps, etc. Do regular checks around your property and be sure there is no place for these little pests to settle down.
  • Keep your Yard Clean: Much like stagnant water, mosquitoes thrive in marshy, overgrown areas. Keep your yard trim, cut your grass and shrubs often, and don’t let your overgrowth get out of control.
  • Limit Outdoor Activities During Peak Times: Mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn. So, the best way to avoid these pests is to stay inside. Limit your outdoor activity during these peak times, and you’ll avoid contracting this deadly virus.
  • Keep Skin Covered: If you can’t avoid heading outdoors, during peak times, or you just want to protect yourself whenever you leave the house, just keep yourself covered. Long sleeves, pants, socks, and shoes can effectively keep you safe from mosquito bites. Keep in mind, mosquitoes are capable of biting through thin clothing. Be sure to select the best clothes when you leave the house for the day.
  • Use Protective Spray: A good way to stay safe and enjoy the outdoors is to use insect repellent, particularly one with DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon or eucalyptus. If you want to go a step further, you can apply permethrin to your clothes.
  • Treat Your Yard: If your mosquito problem is constant, consider having a pest control expert spray your yard. Effective treatments can keep your family safe and keep mosquitoes out of your life.

Concluding Thoughts

As small as they are, mosquitoes can cause deadly problems. Be sure to keep yourself safe and take the necessary precautions throughout the year. Avoid the Triple E threat and keep these pests away from your home for good.



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