First Case of Death Due to EEE Reported in Birmingham, Alabama
Alabama Public Health Officials confirmed the death of a Baldwin County resident, on Monday, from complications due to Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). This death is reportedly the first human case of EEE in the US’ Alabama in five years.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis or EEE is rare and serious illness transmitted to humans by a mosquito bite and has already killed at least nine people in other parts of U.S. in 2019. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) adds that on an average, just seven people contract EEE in the U.S. each year. More than two dozen have been infected in 2019, including multiple cases in New Jersey and Connecticut.
According to WTVY, experts have warned that there is still a threat of mosquito bites and that there are several activities to keep in mind to prevent bites.
The weather in Alabama currently, with recent spill of rains coupled with warm temperature, creates a safe space for mosquitoes to breed the most. It is thought that with the onset of winter months, the mosquitoes generally die out. However, experts reveal that this idea may be wrong.
“Until you have a good solid frost for several nights in a row, they are still going to be active,” says Clint Hester of Stark Exterminators in Birmingham. Hester further said that due to the extended warm temperatures happening due to climate change, his team will have to spray well into the month of November as well. He also warned that the threat of any illnesses caused by mosquitos will remain until the spray season is over.
He encouraged people to continue their methods of getting rid of mosquitoes in their homes as they did in the summer months, and to do so until a further weather-related notice.
Hester added that keeping standing water away from the house, flipping over water bowls, flipping over any standing buckets, cleaning out the gutters and installing gutter guards to keep mosquitoes out could help in the long run.