Senators Markey and Warren Inquire about Federal Research Efforts on Eastern Equine Encephalitis
Four human cases have been detected in Massachusetts, including one fatality
Washington (September 6, 2019) – Massachusetts Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren today sent a letter to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) within the National Institutes of Health to seek information on research efforts on eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus. Eastern equine encephaliti is a rare, but potentially fatal, condition that can cause brain inflammation. Individuals infected with the EEE virus who develop the condition and recover often live with severe and devastating neurological complications. The EEE virus is transmitted to humans who are bitten by infected mosquitos. Massachusetts has seen a disproportionately high number of EEE cases since 2009. Communities throughout Massachusetts have taken extra precautions this year to help mitigate the potential spread of this virus, including aerial spraying for mosquitoes and adjusting schedules of outdoor events to minimize exposure risks.
“The only way to prevent EEE transmission is to protect against mosquito bites; aerial spraying alone cannot eradicate the danger,” write the Senators in their letter.“Though our constituents will continue to take steps to minimize the risk of exposure, it is important to explore different medical options to prevent or treat this reoccurring menace.”
A copy of the letter can be found HERE.