Suffolk chickens, mosquitoes test positive for EEE, West Nile Virus

Posted at 11:16 AM, Sep 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-06 11:17:22-04

Suffolk, Va. – City officials have detected mosquitoes and sentinel chicken flocks testing positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV).

Mosquitoes and sentinel chicken flocks in the Great Dismal Swamp and the neighborhoods of Lake Kennedy, Suburban Woods, Wonderland Forest, Rivercliff, Riverside Estates, Bennett’s Harbor, Saddlebrook, Olde Mill Creek, Cove Point, and neighborhoods in the vicinity of Carolina Road, Clay Hill Road and Pine Street have tested positive for EEE.

Mosquitoes collected in the neighborhood of Lake Kennedy, Eclipse, and the Great Dismal Swamp have tested positive for WNV.

Citizens should be aware that there is increased EEE and WNV activity in these areas and they should take the necessary actions to protect themselves while engaging in outdoor activities.

EEE is a very rare human disease that affects 5-10 humans annually in the United States.

EEE infection in humans begins with mild flu-like symptoms, progresses into disorientation, seizures, coma, encephalitis (an inflammation of the brain) and in the most severe cases individuals die. Many that survive will have “mild to severe brain damage”. No human cases of EEE have ever been reported in the City of Suffolk.

WNV infected individuals can show no symptoms, mild symptoms, or severe symptoms. “80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.”

Up to 20 percent of the people who exhibit mild symptoms of WNV have flu-like symptoms and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. In the most severe of cases (1 of 150) of WNV individuals will develop severe illness which can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis.

Mosquito Control operations are intensifying their efforts in these areas as a result of these EEE positive test confirmations.

Increased mosquito surveillance, treatment of standing water, and evening spray applications for adult mosquitoes are also being administered.

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Virginia Department of Health