Second area EEE fatality confirmed
Published 4:44 pm Sunday, August 24, 2003
By By LISA TINDELL
A second area fatality related to Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) was confirmed on Friday according to Ricky Elliott, environmentalist with the Escambia County Health Department.
According to reports, the 67-year-old Conecuh County man died on July 25 after seeing an on-set of symptoms on July 18.
The other fatality in the area occurred in eight-year-old Emilio Rivera died on July 26.
According to previous reports, both victims were admitted and treated at D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital.
This second confirmed death from the EEE virus makes this the second death the state has seen since 1996 and only the 155th nationwide since 1964.
According to Dr. Dan Raulerson, a Brewton physician, and Elliott, entomologists from Auburn University arrived in Brewton last week and began collecting mosquitoes for analysis. Mosquitoes will be collected and tested for the presence of EEE and West Nile virus. It is expected that tests will help to determine which species of mosquitoes is spreading the disease.
Tests to determine if an illness or death is related to EEE are done by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. Any diagnosis of West Nile or EEE would be made through tests performed by special laboratories and would be confirmed by the Alabama Department of Public Health.
At last count three horses have died as a result of EEE in Escambia County, according to Elliott.
The horse that died in the Appleton area was on a farm near where the two human victims resided. The EEE virus has been detected in mosquitoes, horses, birds, an emu across 19 counties in Alabama.
Health officials are urging residents in the area to take extra precautions when working or playing outdoors.