The virus can be present in several species like humans, birds, reptiles, rodents, horses and dogs, for example. However, the virus does not multiply enough in most of these organisms to become contagious. It is usually in the bird that the mosquito stings and the spread of the virus will take shape when it will go to other animal species that the mosquito will also sting. The mosquito will serve as a vector gateway between birds and other species. Birds often contract the virus down South and will carry it North as they migrate. Therefore, infections are listed during the life cycle of the mosquito and hot periods, that is to say, the summer and early fall.
It is a virus transmitted by mosquitoes for which no preventive measure like a vaccine has been found to resist them. However, there is a vaccine for horses. The only effective prevention to date remains the fight against mosquitoes.
Symptoms and effects on humans
Many people won’t experience any symptoms and others, the effects of a mild flu (headache, fever and fatigue). Symptoms will occur 4 to 10 days after infection. But for people infected who will develop more severe symptoms, they will be:
- Violent headaches
- High fever
One-third of infected people will die. Permanent damages are frequently observed in survivors. If you are experiencing symptoms, consult a health care professional.
Symptom and consequences for horses
Symptoms will be felt between 7 to 21 days after the infection:
- Hypersensitivity to noise;
- Hearing disorders;
- Abnormal gait;
- High fever;
How to protect myself against the EEEV ?
Basically, like the WNV, the EEEV is transmitted by mosquitoes, so the same prevention methods will help :
- Protect yourself from bites by wearing light-colored clothing that covers arms and legs;
- Use insect repellent, following the manufacturer’s instructions;
- Keep doors and mosquito nets closed;
- Eliminate mosquitoes that are inside;
- Be especially careful in shady, damp places in the day;
- Be vigilant in the evening and at night, even if mosquitoes are not visible or troublesome;
- Doing your part at home and limit the number of breeding sites for mosquitoes.
It is a disease that acts like wildfire on the health of the horse. Four days after the onset of symptoms, 70% to 90% of infected horses will die.