Mosquito-borne EEE virus kills Connecticut resident, death marks 3rd in state: officials

A third Connecticut resident has died from the dangerous mosquito-borne Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus, state officials announced on Tuesday.

The East Haddam resident, who was not identified, died in mid-September, officials with the Connecticut Department of Health said in a statement, noting the death was announced following confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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The patient was between the ages of 60 and 69.

Officials also said a fourth person in the state has been confirmed to have EEE. The Colchester resident fell ill during the third week of August and remains hospitalized.

“We have had four human cases of EEE, three of which were fatal.  All four were most likely exposed to infected mosquitoes sometime between August 11, 2019, and September 8, 2019, which was the peak period of mosquito activity in Connecticut,” said Dr. Matthew Cartter, a state epidemiologist with the Connecticut Department of Health, in a statement.

“All four residents live in a part of eastern Connecticut where EEE activity has not been a problem before this summer,” he added.

In September, Connecticut saw its first EEE death since 2013 when a 77-year-old woman died from the virus.

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The CDC describes EEE as “one of a group of mosquito-transmitted viruses that can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis).”

Symptoms of the virus typically appear about four to 10 days after a bite, with severe cases progressing to encephalitis. Patients may experience high fever, stiff neck, severe headache and lack of energy. Approximately one-third of patients who contract EEE will die, and there is no specific treatment for the virus. Health officials said the only way to protect against the virus to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Fox News’ Alexandria Hein contributed to this report.