Mosquito-Borne Illness

Blamed for 2 Deaths

BOSTON -- A rare mosquito-borne disease killed a young girl and an elderly man who lived in neighboring towns, health officials said Tuesday as they urged people to protect themselves against the insects.

The two became ill with the dangerous Eastern equine encephalitis virus, or EEE, within days of a third woman who also lives nearby being stricken. She remains hospitalized in serious condition, officials said.

Four New Hampshire residents have become ill with the virus in recent weeks; none has died.

It was not clear how or when the girl 5, and man, 83, contracted the disease, health officials said.

The United States has had about 200 confirmed cases of EEE since 1964, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The disease kills about 35 percent of the people who contract it and causes mild to severe neurological problems in another 35 percent. Symptoms range from mild flulike illness to brain inflammation, coma and death. There is no approved vaccine for humans. The virus also can affect birds and horses.

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* Federal judges dismissed legal challenges by Illinois to block a move of Air National Guard fighter jets to Indiana and by politicians in New Jersey seeking to keep Fort Monmouth open. The rulings are potential setbacks to other states fighting proposed revisions to military bases, equipment and personnel.

-- From News Services