EAST LYME, CT (WFSB) – The Department of Public Health (DPH) announced the first human case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Connecticut on Monday.
An adult resident of East Lyme tested positive for EEE.
This is the first human case of EEE identified in Connecticut this season.
The DPH did not say in which town the person contracted the infection.
According to the DPH, the patient became ill during the last week of August and remains hospitalized. Tests were completed on Monday at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Laboratory in Colorado, which confirmed the presence of antibodies to the virus that causes EEE.
Officials said the person is seriously ill.
"This is a very serious human illness and there have been outbreaks over the last 50 years in parts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, but until 2013, there had never been a Connecticut human case of this illness and this would make the second case that we've ever had," said Dr. Matthew Carter, Director of Infectious Disease for the Department of Public Health.
EEE has been identified in 12 towns in Connecticut and has been identified in horses in two additional towns.
The towns where mosquitoes tested positive for EEE include Chester, Haddam, Hampton, Groton, Killingworth, Ledyard, Madison, North Stonington, Plainfield, Shelton, Stonington, and Voluntown.
This is the second human case of EEE ever reported in the state, according to the DPH. The first case was reported in 2013.
Following the first human case reported in East Lyme, the athletic department for East Lyme Public Schools is working to adjust times and make changes to games and practices.
The district said they are hoping to move athletic events to earlier in the afternoon so all students are off the filed by 5:30 p.m.
A letter sent to parents said, "please note that for schools with no ban for away games, parents have the discretion to determine if they give permission for their child to partake in the athletic event after dusk."
Last week, several school districts put limits on students outdoor sports time due to the recent increase of the mosquito-borne virus.
Other surrounding states have recently seen human cases of the virus. Massachusetts had eight reported cases of EEE and Rhode Island has seen one human case.
One case in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts has resulted in a fatality.
The DPH says to avoid freshwater swamps and marshes, and to avoid being out between dawn and dusk.
For more information on EEE, click here.