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Fight the Bite SloganEastern and Western equine encephalitis 

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Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and Western equine encephalitis (WEE) are rare, severe arboviral diseases transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) and Western equine encephalitis virus (WEEV) are in the same family Togaviridae, genus Alphavirus. In the United States, most of EEE and WEE cases occurred respectively in the eastern and western states. Only two cases of EEE have been reported in Wisconsin between 1964 and 2011. Most people infected with EEEV and WEEV have no apparent illness. Symptoms of illness begin with the sudden onset of high fever, chills, headache, nausea, and vomiting. Severe illness includes encephalitis, seizures, and coma.

Arboviral diseases home

General information

EEE fact sheet - Hmong - Spanish
Eastern Equine encephalitis fact sheet - CDC
Western Equine encephalitis fact sheet - CDC 

Data and Statistics

National Eastern Equine encephalitis data - CDC

Prevention

Some tips to protect yourself:

  • Use effective mosquito repellant and apply according to the label instructions.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and shoes.
  • Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with a repellent containing permethrin or DEET will give extra protection. These repellants are the most effective and most studied.
  • Avoid being outside during times of high mosquito activity, specifically around dawn and dusk.
  • Keep window screens repaired so that mosquitoes cannot enter your home.
  • Dispose of discarded tires, cans, or plastic containers left outside that may contain standing water.
  • Drain standing water from pool or hot tub covers.
  • Turn over plastic wading pools and wheel barrows when not in use.
  • Change the water in bird baths, pet dishes and wading pools every 3-4 days.
  • Keep drains, ditches and culverts clean of trash and weeds so water will drain properly.
  • Clean gutters to ensure they drain properly.

For more information, Using Insect Repellants Safely - CDC (exit DHS)

Information for health professionals

This is a Wisconsin Disease Surveillance Category II disease: 
Report to the patient's local public health department electronically, through the Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System (WEDSS), by mail or fax using an Acute and Communicable Disease Case Report F-44151 or by other means within 72 hours upon recognition of a case.
Information on Communicable Disease Reporting

Wisconsin case reporting and public health follow-up guidelines Arboviral diseases EpiNet 
Arbovirus case report form
2013 Arbovirus management protocol  

Laboratory guidance

Training and additional resources 

Contacts

Wisconsin Local Health Departments - Regional offices - Tribal agencies

Diep Hoang Johnson Vectorborne Disease Epidemiologist
Wisconsin Division of Public Health 
Bureau of Communicable Diseases and Emergency Response
(Phone 608-267-0249)  (Fax 608-261-4976)

Last Revised: March 04, 2014