A South Windsor man knows all too well what can happen in the rare case a person is infected with a possibly deadly virus from a mosquito.
While these days Clint Bowman loves being outside in South Windsor, 20 years ago he faced a scary situation while in Michigan with some friends.
“I had to fight quite a bit for a couple of months after I got out of the hospital,” said Bowman.
Bowman says they were bit by mosquitoes and he developed encephalitis, or swelling of the brain.
“I was hospitalized for three weeks and a friend of mine who was younger than I was got it at the same time and he did not make it. He passed away,” said Bowman.
One cause of brain inflammation can be Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus.
It was just detected in a mosquito trapped on Burgess Road in South Windsor.
Two people from Connecticut have died of EEE this season. The disease is deadly in about 30 percent of cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We’re taking important steps right away,” said Mayor Andrew Paterna (D).
Paterna says that includes cancelling and changing outdoor town activities. Parks will close at 5:30 p.m.
“It’s the right thing to do. You know it’s kind of a scary situation,” said Tony Velez of South Windsor.
On Wednesday the town will start spraying for mosquitoes and people can already stop by town hall to pick up a pill to drop in standing water to kill mosquito larvae.
“The town manager has declared a public health emergency for the town. So we have to take it seriously,” said Paterna.
The mayor hopes residents will too, including minimizing their time outside between dusk and dawn when mosquitos are most active.
Neighboring Manchester is also opting to end after-school activities by dusk.
While Clint Bowman fully recovered from encephalitis, it has changed his feelings about mosquito viruses.
“I would like to say to people: take it seriously because you never know if you’re going to be the next one to get it,” said Bowman.
It’s also suggested you wear clothes to cover as much of your body as possible, plus consider using a mosquito repellent.
South Windsor expects to continue closing the parks at 5:30 p.m. until the first hard frost.