Young Girl in Alabama Dies from Deadly Mosquito-Borne Virus

A seven-year-old girl from Alabama has tragically died from a rare and deadly virus obtained through a mosquito bite.

The virus, called Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), causes life-threatening brain swelling and has a fatality rate of up to 30 percent in humans. In horses, the fatality rate goes up to a staggering 95 percent.

The identity of the girl remains undisclosed. Her death marks the first reported EEE-related fatality in Alabama this year. Another case has been reported in Spanish Fort, a city on the Gulf Coast.

This year, the virus was also found in horses in New York, but no human cases have been reported there.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), EEE is a rare disease, with only about 11 cases reported annually in the US.

However, the disease is severe. The virus is passed on to mosquitoes when they bite infected birds that show no symptoms. These infected mosquitoes then transmit the virus to humans through their bites.

Symptoms of EEE appear four to ten days after infection and include sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting.

In severe cases, EEE can lead to disorientation, seizures, encephalitis (brain inflammation), and even coma. There are currently no vaccines or cures for the disease, so doctors focus on managing symptoms and supporting patients.

The Alabama Department of Public Health announced the death of the girl, stating that the infection occurred over the past few weeks. The second EEE patient from Spanish Fort was also infected around the same time.

In response to these cases, authorities in Spanish Fort have taken action by spraying insecticides to kill mosquitoes potentially carrying the virus.

Mayor Mike McMillan confirmed that the town is already spraying areas once a week. However, he cautioned against more frequent spraying to prevent insects from developing resistance, which would be counterproductive.

Identifying the species of mosquito carrying the infection has been challenging, making eradication efforts more complicated. Traps have been set up to catch mosquitoes for testing. Mayor McMillan explained, “We are adjacent to a swamp, the Delta. There are a lot of different breeds of mosquitoes. We are doing all we can until we get a determination of the species.”

This tragic incident serves as a stark reminder of the dangers posed by mosquito-borne diseases.

This article appeared in Our Patriot and has been published here with permission.

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Written by Western Reader

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