bEwarE of thE bugs!

Madeleine Lussier, Editor

Make sure you grab the bug spray for all of your fall campfires! Triple E, also known as Eastern Equine Encephalitis is spread by mosquitoes and transmitted when someone/something is bitten. EEE is most commonly spread by birds who are immune to the virus, however, if a mosquito bites an infected bird it receives the virus and can transmit it to anything it bites.

Studies by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health show that since 1938, fewer than 100 cases have occurred despite EEE outbreaks happening every 10-20 years. The last Triple E outbreak concluded in 2012, so this year’s outbreak came before the public predicted.

The symptoms of EEE set in around a week after the initial bite by an infected mosquito. Those who are infected will experience 103-106 degree fever, stiff neck, and a headache. The most severe and fatal symptom of Triple E is swelling of the brain, a complication that can put the patient in a coma and contributes to EEE having a 50% mortality rate. Those who do survive are almost always permanently disabled, while only a small number of people recover completely.

Franklin is at moderate risk for Triple E, and so are surrounding towns such as Bellingham, Wrentham, and Norfolk. However, we are not in the clear yet, as nearby towns like Mendon and Uxbridge are at critical risk for the virus.

To prevent the spread of EEE and decrease the chances of being bitten by an infected mosquito you should NOT be outside around dusk and dawn. You should also try to have as much skin covered as possible when outdoors, and any skin that is exposed should be covered in insect repellent. For those who have pools, drain them as soon as possible and make sure fixtures with stagnant water like birdbaths, roof gutters, and trash bins are drained frequently. 

Make sure you use caution when you’re outside and stay safe Franklin High!