A rare deadly virus that has claimed the lives of at least seven people across the nation has been detected in Erie County.
According to the PA Department of Health, there is no cure for the EEE virus and three of every ten people who get the disease die from it.
Health Officials from across the country are on high alert after several people have died from Eastern Equine Encephalitis or EEE.
There is even heightened concern in Erie County after a wild turkey tested positive for the virus.
“It’s a virus that can be carried by types of mosquitoes that are not incredibly common in our area, but can be found in our area,” said Breanna Adams, Director of Environmental Health, Erie County Department of Health.
In order to monitor the virus, the PA Department of Environmental Protection is conducting mosquito trapping in the area where the wild turkey was found.
If the trapped mosquitoes pose a risk to human health, the DEP will conduct insecticide spraying in the area on Tuesday.
“Some of the symptoms that would present in people are high fever, 103 degrees or higher, and a stiff neck,” said Adams.
If you are planning on being in a mosquito prone area for a longtime, the Department of Health recommends using repellent, which comes in several options like wipes and natural repellent.
Meanwhile, an Erie resident who spends a lot of time outdoors with his dog says he was shocked to hear about this virus being detected so close to home.
“I have not seen mosquito activity. Generally you have to be worried about areas where you got standing water and that kind of stuff, and the zoo is a pretty safe place as far as I’m concerned,” said Doug Squegla, Erie resident.
The DEP has not disclosed the location of where the turkey was found. No human in Erie County has contracted the virus.