Treatments for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in Children

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How is Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) treated?

Although there is no specific treatment for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), there are several things that can be done to help manage the symptoms of the disease:

  • Anticonvulsants for seizures
  • Respirator for breathing problems
  • Pain relievers for headache, fever or body ache
  • Sedatives for irritability or restlessness
  • Corticosteroids for brain swelling

How can I prevent EEE?

Avoiding mosquito bites is the easiest and most effective way to prevent EEE. Listed bellows are some ways you can protect your children:
  • Dress them in socks, pants and long-sleeved shirts that cover their skin. 
  • Avoid areas where and when mosquitoes are abundant.
  • Install and fix window screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home. 
  • Empty buckets, toys and other items that hold water in which mosquitoes develop.
  • Make sure your roof gutters are clean of leaves and drain well.
  • Contact your local mosquito control district to learn of other options to reduce mosquito problems. 
  • Use insect repellents carefully and wisely.

The easiest and most effective way to avoid mosquito bites is by using insect repellant. There are many products that are made to prevent mosquito bites. Experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)  recommend one that can be applied directly to the skin that is particularly effective: DEET (usually listed on labels as N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide).

The amount of DEET in insect repellents varies and may range from less than 10 percent to more than 30 percent. Products with higher concentrations of DEET tend to provide longer protection and need to be applied less frequently. According to the AAP, products that have around 10 percent DEET may keep away insects for nearly 2 hours, while products with about 24 percent DEET last an average of 5 hours.

Other repellents contain yet other active ingredients (other than DEET). Select a repellent that is registered with the US EPA. Read and follow directions to use them properly. The AAP does not recommend insect repellants for children younger than 2 months.  

Here are additional do's and don'ts on how to use insect repellent:

  • DO apply repellent to all exposed skin areas and to clothing.
  • DO spray repellent in your hands first and then gently rub it on a child's face, avoiding the eyes and mouth.
  • DO use aerosols and pump sprays to ensure that the repellant is applied evenly.
  • DO use repellants with higher concentrations if there will be a long time between applications or if you will be in environments where mosquito populations are high.
  • DO wash repellent off once you get back indoors.
  • DON'T use insect repellent on skin that is already covered by clothing.
  • DON'T apply repellant directly onto a child's face.
  • DON'T keep using a repellent if it gives you a rash or other skin reaction.
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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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