COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) — A Coventry girl is out of the hospital and recovering at home after contracting Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
Star Lynn Jackman, 6, is one of two recently confirmed human cases of the mosquito-borne disease. According to the Department of Health, a Charlestown resident in their 50s is the other.
Those new cases bring the total human EEE cases in the state this year to three. The first person, a West Warwick man, died from the disease early last week.
According to the Jackman family’s GoFundMe page, Star was admitted to Hasbro Children’s Hospital at the beginning of the month and remained there until being released Sept. 10.
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During her stay, even after she was discharged – and despite test after test – Star’s parents said on GoFundMe they didn’t know what was making their little girl sick. For two weeks they waited for answers until the results finally came back this week.
Even at the beginning of Star’s hospital stay, her family feared it was EEE.
“STILL NO answers back on what is causing this. My biggest Scare EEE but in all our hearts we are hoping it’s just something that will gradually get better on it own,” her mom Jessica Jackman said on GoFundMe.
Eyewitness News has been in touch with Star’s family.
RI health officials believe all three people contracted the virus before areas of Rhode Island deemed a critical risk for EEE were sprayed with pesticide.
The threat of mosquito-borne viruses typically lasts until the first hard frost, which is usually in mid- to late October in Southern New England. EEE has been detected in six mosquito samples so far this season: three from Westerly, two from Central Falls, and one from Block Island.
At the Health Department’s prompting, many school, sports and community organizations are adhering to “smart scheduling” and rescheduling events outside of peak mosquito hours – which are between dusk and dawn.