Published: Sunday, August 14, 2011, 8:10 PM
Updated: Monday, August 15, 2011, 7:38 AM
The Post-Standard By Catie O’Toole
New Haven, NY — A 4-year-old New Haven girl who contracted Eastern Equine Encephalitis died Sunday morning at Upstate Golisano Children‚Äôs Hospital in Syracuse.
A benefit to help the family is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at the New Haven Volunteer Fire Department, 4211 state Route 104.
Raffle tickets cost $1 each or $10 for an arm‚Äôs length. Monetary donations also are being accepted. The raffle will include homemade blankets, baked goods, gift cards, gift baskets and other items.
To make a donation for the raffle, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or drop items off at 4107 state Route 104, New Haven.
She is the fifth person in 40 years to die from the EEE virus in New York state. All five deaths were in Central New York.
The girl‚Äôs symptoms began earlier this month and she was admitted to the hospital, a family friend said. Doctors last week determined the girl had been infected by the EEE virus.
Oswego County Health Department officials Sunday declined to identify the child infected by the EEE virus or confirm that she had died.
There is no specific treatment for EEE, nor is there a human vaccine.
Other EEE deaths
An Oswego County child in 1971
A 7-year-old Camillus boy in 1983
An Oswego County resident in 2009
An Onondaga County man in 2010
Although EEE is rare, it is one of the most serious mosquito-borne diseases.
About one-third of people infected with the virus die. Most survivors suffer significant brain damage.
Nationwide, an average of six EEE human cases are reported each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Dr. Dennis Norfleet, Oswego County‚Äôs director of public health, has declined to say where the girl may have been when she was bitten by an infected mosquito.
Last week, the county health department reported the EEE virus had been found in mosquitoes collected in Central Square and on county Route 6, south of state Route 3, in Volney.
Word of the young girl‚Äôs illness and death spread quickly through social media.
Friends are collecting donations and planning a fundraiser to help the girls‚Äô family.
Catie O‚ÄôToole can be reached at email@example.com or 470-2134.