State officials report the number of mosquito pools with positive West Nile virus readings is down more than 75 percent from a year ago at this same time, but another mosquito threat is looming.

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"Eastern equine encephalitis is rare in people, but if it's contracted by a human, the mortality rate is about 35 percent, which means about 35 percent of the people that do contract Triple E and become symptomatic unfortunately pass away," says the Principal Biologist for the State Office of Mosquito Control Coordination, Claudia O'Malley.

She points out a lot of people are bitten by mosquitoes carrying Triple E, and they don't even exhibit symptoms, but for those who do, it's very serious.

"Those that survive are always left with some kind of neurological - central nervous system problems."

O'Malley stresses the best thing to use to keep mosquitoes away from you is a repellant that contains DEET, "but you don't want to go to any concentrations higher than 30 percent active ingredient, because it just doesn't do any additional good."

She also points out how important it is to police your own property and remove standing water where mosquitoes can breed, so there will be less of them to deal with.

Officials say the drop in West Nile readings in mosquitoes this year reflects the cyclical nature of the virus.


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