EEE Mosquitos are a real threat to Connecticut

Ellie Sherry Reporter

Every year, one million people are killed by the world’s most deadly animals — and no, it is not the shark. It’s the mosquito.

The majority of these deaths are from malaria, an infection spread by protozoan parasites, or dirty needles. The infection happens when an infected person’s blood goes into someone else; which is why it can be contracted by needles and mosquitos.

Luckily enough for people who live in the United States, malaria cases are few and far between. Cases that do occur in the U.S. typically people who have traveled to a country where mosquitoes carrying the infection are more prevalent.

Thanks to modern medicine, malaria can also be treated effectively if the infection is caught early on, but many people die from it because they do not have access to the necessary medications.

Now we have something even bigger than Malaria wreaking havoc, and it is right here in Connecticut. The disease is called Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE. So far, ten people have died from contracting the disease, and two of them have been in Connecticut.

When a mosquito that is infected with EEE bites someone, one of two things can happen. The infected person will either come down with some flu-like symptoms, or they will develop encephalitis.

When encephalitis occurs it causes the brain to swell and it results in death.One third of the people who get Encephalitis die because it affects their entire nervous system, and there is little that medical professionals can do about it.

Towns that are closer to Massachusetts, where there has been the highest number of outbreaks, have taken precautions to prevent the spread of the disease. South Windsor, for example, is now closing any outdoor facilities and parks at 5:30 p.m. because it is the prime time for mosquitoes to come out is at night.

To be quite honest, I am afraid of what is to come.

While modern medicine is a wonderful thing, doctors have been over prescribing antibiotics for years. Antibiotics are only efficient when treating a bacterial infection, and illnesses like EEE are viral, which means that antibiotics have no effect. What we need is a vaccine, and there is still yet to be one effective enough to be released to the public. Until then, it is unknown how many other people this virus will impact.

It seems like Mother Nature is having a fit right now, between the hurricanes and the rise of EEE outbreaks, and rightfully so. We have been mistreating our earth for years and now she has resorted to doing everything in her power to make us change our actions. We throw our trash into her, dump our gas in her, to and in other ways pollute her and take away her trees to breathe.

Of course, there are going to be repercussions for our actions, and I think this is part of it.

I think what we need to do now is start making changes in our actions and do the best to protect ourselves from this scary reality.

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