By: Delbert Robinson
Summary: Mosquitoes are at it again; actually, they never stopped. Woe to humans that live in perpetual warm climate zones. They can carry EEE or triple E virus, scientifically known as the Eastern Equine Encephalitis which is deadly to horses and humans alike by causing brain infections (encephalitis). The West Nile, H1N1, and Malaria are just a few more weapons in this insect’s arsenal.
Ironically, the EEE virus is only spread by certain kinds of female mosquitoes and is an arthropod-borne or Arbor virus. From 2009 to 2018 there were 30 human deaths attributed to EEE and somewhere between 9 and 12 in 2019, depending on the source of information, and apparently climbing. Five have died in Michigan according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
2019 is the worst year for EEE in decades, hence why they want to bring out the big guns with aerial pesticide spraying that could have long lasting consequences for all, but a quick fix until the saving grace of falls frost. The mosquitoes get the virus from birds and passes it to humans and horses, two species that are the most susceptible to the disease. The virus was first identified in horses in 1933, yet 2019 is the first I have ever heard about EEE and no, I don’t live under a rock. Proponents for aerial spraying in Michigan state that they will stagger the spraying to minimize harm to other insects like bees and butterflies, also giving counties the option to spray or not to spray. A lot are choosing not to spray even with assurance from toxicologists. I believe it’s a case of fool me once with most local counties. The symptoms can mimic the flu which makes it even more dangerous. There are 4 different versions of the EEE virus globally, but only one is endemic to North America
We we should care? The form of pesticide being proposed is harmful to Bees and Butterflies. The solution from the hired contractor is to spray only from dusk ‘til dawn when bees and butterflies are sleeping.
Example News Article:
This article interested me because it is a home town publication and was well written and informative. It answered every question about EEE, particularly expounding the spraying program in Michigan. It made me aware of when the virus was discovered, what the virus is, its symptoms and how the world is trying to combat it. This article was all I needed to be informed about EEE and its current issues. It was hard not to plagiarize the author due to such a well written informative article. The hyperlinks are all to reputable sources. What really stood about this article is the author statement of there is no treatment or cure for EEE.
Science in Action.
Dr. Thomas Unnasch is a Distinguished Health Professor in the College of Public Health at the University of South Florida.
Dr. Unnasch's research has focused upon vector-borne diseases and the human filarial infections. His research also addresses the EEE virus surviving the seasons via hibernating snakes and solutions to combat the deadly virus. This is the first research of it kind proving wild caught snakes carry the virus in their blood .
This article printed in 2012 is relevant to this issue because it discusses the year-round potential of the spreading of the EEE virus. The carrier being snakes is a scary subject due to the fact that humans found refuge in colder climates. The research stating that snakes can carry the virus through hibernation, means other hibernating animals could possibly do the same.