A deadly virus spread by mosquitoes is now in our area.
State officials say Triple E, or Eastern Equine Encephalitis, has been confirmed in three counties including Carbon and Monroe in the Poconos and Erie out west.
The rare mosquito-borne illness is responsible for at least five deaths and more than 20 illnesses across the United States.
Experts are warning people to take precautions against mosquito bites.
When outside, officials say to use "DEET-containing insect repellents and covering exposed skin with lightweight clothing."
Tips to eliminate standing water around your property to reduce mosquito populations:
- Remove tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, discarded tires or any object that could collect standing water. Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors.
- Have roof gutters cleaned annually, particularly if leaves from nearby trees have a tendency to clog the drains.
- Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
- Do not let water stagnate in birdbaths.
- Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools and remove standing water from pool covers.
- Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property.
- Treat standing water that cannot be eliminated with Bti products, which are sold at outdoor supply, home improvement, and other stores. Bti is a natural product that kills mosquito larvae but is safe for people, pets, aquatic life, and plants.
According to officials, symptoms of EEE typically show up three to 10 days after being bitten.
Some symptoms of EEE include:
- High fever (103º to 106ºF)
- Stiff neck
- Lack of energy
For more information on EEE, symptoms, and how to protect yourself, click here.