Cases of Rare But Deadly Encephalitis Rising Among Kids, Report Finds – US News and World ReportPosted: January 30, 2013
In 2012 alone, Massachusetts had seven documented cases of Eastern equine encephalitis, which is the highest number of infections reported since 1956. What’s more, the first human case ever in Vermont was reported in 2012. And, public health surveillance indicates that the virus that causes Eastern equine encephalitis may now have traveled as far north as Maine and Nova Scotia, Canada.
Results of the review are published in the February issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Ahmed said that better detection of the virus is at least part of the reason for the increasing numbers of people diagnosed with the disease, but he doesn’t believe that better testing accounts for all the new cases.
“There’s a sense that the activity of the virus has increased. People are living closer to habitats of mosquitoes in nature, and global warming is allowing mosquitoes to be active longer. Most mosquitoes thrive in warmer weather,” Ahmed said.