Rhode Island girl, 6, nearly dies after contracting rare mosquito-borne EEE virus: 'We could have lost her'

Fox News Lifestyle 1 month ago
Hot and humid weather brings out those pesky mosquitoes. Here are a few simple tips to live a mosquito-free summer.

A young Rhode Island girl narrowly escaped death after contracting the rare and potentially deadly Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus, her family says.

Late last month, 6-year-old Star Jackman, of Coventry, came home from her second day of school complaining of a headache. Her symptoms worsened over the next few days; Star developed a fever and began to vomit.

On Sept. 1, her parents, Reginald and Jessica Jackman, took the young girl to a local clinic. Roughly half an hour later, the little girl was in an ambulance on the way to Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

“It escalated that fast,” Reginald told the Providence Journal. 

Doctors were unable to pin down exactly what was ailing Star, whose heart-rate plummeted at one point, reported Patch. The normally vibrant girl was so weak that she had trouble lifting her head.

Star’s EEE diagnosed was confirmed Sept. 10, more than a week after she was rushed to the hospital. She was cleared to go home around the same time.

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management later confirmed two additional cases of EEE in the state — one in a child younger than 10 and another in a person in their 50s. There have been three confirmed EEE cases in Rhode Island to date, which includes a resident who died after contracting the virus.

"We could have lost her," Reginald told Patch. "We got lucky."

Though the young girl is on the mend, her battle with EEE is not entirely over.

The virus affected her motor skills and memory. At one point, while still in the hospital, Star had trouble recognizing her parents and confused her family members' names, her parents told the Journal. Her memory has improved since, however.

Advice from Dr. Marc Siegel

Star also has issues with muscle memory. Walking — once easy for the young girl who loves to dance and sing — is now difficult. Her pace is unsteady and she wobbles. She occasionally suffers from seizures and becomes fatigued easily.

The young girl is now working with both occupational and physical therapists, Reginald told Patch.

"It could last a few days, a month or the rest of her life. We just don't know," he said of her recovery timeline.

The family has received a lot of support from their local community and from Star’s elementary school, which provided a tutor so she doesn’t fall too far behind.

Reginald told Patch he’s not sure when or where his daughter, who has not yet returned to school, was bitten by the infected mosquito.

“We always use bug spray,” he said. “But it still happened.”

Neither Reginald nor Jessica Jackman responded to Fox News' request for additional comment on Wednesday.

EEE “is one of a group of mosquito-transmitted viruses that can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis),” says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The virus is more common in the Atlantic and Gulf Coast states, though the Great Lakes area has also seen cases.

Symptoms of EEE usually appear four to 10 days after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito. Severe cases of the virus “begin with the sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting,” says the CDC, which notes, “the illness may then progress into disorientation, seizures, and coma.”

One-third of those infected with EEE virus die; survivors typically have “mild to severe brain damage.”  There’s no specific treatment for the infection.

Other than Rhode Island, cases of EEE have also been reported in states such as Michigan, Massachusetts and, most recently, Connecticut. Massachusetts has seen eight EEE cases this year. On average, five to 10 cases of EEE are reported each year, the CDC says.


Source link
Read also:
Fox News › Lifestyle › 2 weeks ago
A third Connecticut resident has died from the dangerous mosquito-borne Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus, state officials announced on Tuesday.
Fox News › Lifestyle › 2 weeks ago
A fourth Michigan resident has died from what is considered to be one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne viruses in the nation: Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus.
Chicago Tribune › 1 month ago
Public health officials are urging people to guard against mosquito bites after more cases of a rare mosquito-borne virus, including two additional deaths in southwestern Michigan.
Fox News › Lifestyle › 5 days ago
A 58-year-old Massachusetts man has died from the rare but serious mosquito-borne Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus, according to his obituary.
USA Today › 1 month ago
Three Michigan residents have died from the rare mosquito-borne virus Eastern equine encephalitis, state health officials said.
CBC › Lifestyle › 6 days ago
The rare but deadly mosquito-borne virus Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) has been found in Windsor, Ont., according to the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.
CNN › 1 month ago
Gregg McChesney was a "perfectly healthy, happy human being" less than two weeks before his August 19 death from the rare mosquito-borne virus, his brother said. A Michigan man went from healthy to brain dead in just nine days after contracting Eastern
Fox News › Lifestyle › 1 month ago
A man from Michigan went from “perfectly healthy to brain dead” in nine days after contracting a rare-mosquito-borne disease, according to a local report.
Fox News › Lifestyle › 1 week ago
For the first time since 1998, an Indiana resident has died from the rare but serious mosquito-borne Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), health officials announced over the weekend.
Fox News › Lifestyle › 3 weeks ago
Another Massachusetts resident has died from the rare dangerous mosquito-borne Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus, state health officials said this week. The death marks the fourth in the state and the 10th in the nation from the virus.
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google
OR