EAST LYME, CT (WFSB) – The East Lyme Public Schools System is making changes to its outdoor after school programs following the first confirmed human case of a mosquito-borne illness this season.
The Department of Public Health said someone contracted Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE.
There are currently no plans of widespread aerial pesticide spraying in the state, officials said.
However, East Lyme Public Schools said it is changing the ending times of its outdoor after school programs. The aim is to get everyone off the field before dusk when mosquito activity begins.
Also on Tuesday, New London said all city sponsored or supervised outdoor activities will end by 6:15 p.m. as an extra precaution.
Norwich joined that group as well, saying all outdoor events and activities will be completed by 6:30 p.m.
"The importance of not doing activities from dusk to dawn because that's when the mosquitoes are out making sure they use insect repellent with DEET, wearing long sleeves," said Kris Magnussen, Ledge Light Health District.
Campers at Rocky Neck State Park in Niantic are also being warned to use inset repellent and netting.
Warning signs are posted throughout the park about the EEE virus.
Although EEE-infected mosquitoes continue to be detected in the southeastern corner of the state, state scientists said numbers have been declining.
Health officials said it takes between four and 10 days after a bite to develop symptoms.
Severe cases of EEE start with a headache, high fever, chills and vomiting before they progress to disorientation, seizures and a coma.
About a third of patients die while those who survive suffer mild-to-severe brain damage.
However, officials stressed that the virus is rare, but they warned people to be alert and spray themselves before heading outdoors.
“The way this works is these mosquitoes that are infected with this virus live in freshwater swamps. They bite only birds, birds become infected. More mosquitoes bite those birds, it starts to spill out of the swamps,” said Dr. Matthew Carter, director of infectious diseases, DPH.
As fall approaches, health officials said mosquitoes are less active and less likely to bite due to the cooler weather.
For more information on EEE, click here.