State seeks blood samples to test for EEE in area

BRANDON/SUDBURY — The Vermont Health Department will host its second of three Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEE) research study clinics on Tuesday, May 14, noon to 7 p.m. at the Sudbury Town Hall.
At the first clinic, held at the Brandon Senior Center on April 23, more than 220 volunteers donated blood samples that will be tested for antibodies to EEE.
Anyone age 12 and older who has lived at their current residence in Brandon, Whiting or Sudbury since June 1, 2012, can participate. Volunteers will be screened for eligibility and there is no sign up required in advance. 
Eligible participants will be asked to complete a brief survey, and trained nurses will collect the blood sample. The Health Department wants to learn if many people have been infected with EEE virus but did not get sick. Individual test results will not be shared with participants. All information collected during the study will be confidential.
The Health Department is conducting the study in partnership with Boston Children’s Hospital and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. EEE is a potentially fatal viral disease spread to people and horses through the bite of an infected mosquito.
The final clinic will be held at Whiting Town Hall on May 29 from noon to 7 p.m.
Last fall two Vermonters died from EEE. Both lived in areas where mosquitoes had tested positive for EEE virus.

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