Eastern Equine Encephalitis
by Rebecca J. Stahl, MA
Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is an infection spread by a bite from an infected mosquito. While EEE is rare, it can be serious and in some cases, fatal.
EEE is caused by a virus.
Risk Factors TOP
The greatest risk factors for EEE are spending time in areas where mosquitoes are present, such as wetlands and swamps. Another risk factors is failing to use insect repellent.
Other factors that may increase your chances of EEE:
Most people with EEE do not have any symptoms.
If symptoms do occur, they may appear in 4-10 days and include:
EEE can lead to more serious, life-threatening symptoms of inflammation of the brain, like altered mental status, weakness, numbness, paralysis, seizures, and coma.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Questions may include:
A blood test or a test of your spinal fluid is commonly used to confirm the diagnosis of EEE.
Imaging tests may include:
Treatment for EEE focuses on supportive care. Severe symptoms require hospitalization, which may include:
To help reduce your chances of EEE:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Eastern equine encephalitis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/easternequineencephalitis. Updated April 5, 2016. Accessed December 7, 2017.
Eastern equine encephalitis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed... . Updated February 4, 2016. Accessed December 7, 2017.
Encephalitis: an overview. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at: http://www.ebscoho... . Updated March 9, 2012. Accessed December 7, 2017.
Mosquito avoidance. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115142/Mosquito-avoidance . Updated November 21, 2016. Accessed December 7, 2017.
Last reviewed November 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board David L. Horn, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 12/20/2014
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at email@example.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.