More than $ 100,000 has been raised for a young girl in Massachusetts affected by the potentially deadly mosquito-borne Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus earlier this month, according to an online collection in the girl's name.
As of this writing, $ 146,133 was raised for Sophia Garabedian, a 5-year-old Sudbury girl who was rushed to Boston Children's Hospital with sudden and severe flu-like symptoms, including headaches, September 3. The fund's goal is $ 200,000.
FIFTH CASE OF DEADLY EEE VIRUS CONFIRMED IN MASSACHUSETTS, 3 DUSIN COMMUNITIES AT CRITICAL RISK & # 39;
The girl, who has suffered from brain swelling ̵
"Her parents have been at Children's Hospital with her this ent ire time, and it has truly been heartbreaking for all their family and friends. She stays at the ICU and while the family has a full health insurance plan through her employer, the medical costs outside her pocket will be huge, "the fund notes, noting that the Garabedian family" will be the named beneficiary in this account and will receive the money directly to be used for medical care and rehabilitation costs. "
" Before this sudden illness, she was a happy, loving little girl who loved to play with her friends and did gymnastics. "
" These costs include neurologic support because Sophias brain healing, physical therapy when she regains the use of her body and the care of patients for an extended period of time, "it added.  An update published on Sophia's GoFundMe on Tuesday said she was showing signs of improvement, noting that the swelling in her brain was starting to decline. Although the young girl is officially in "the right condition", the fund reads, she cannot walk or talk and has "limited cognitive function."
EEE – a rare disease spread by infected mosquitoes – is known to cause brain inflammation. Survivors usually have mild to severe brain damage, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Infection (CDC). One third of those infected with EEE die.
Symptoms of a severe EEE infection "begin with the sudden onset of headaches, high fever, chills and vomiting," says the CDC.
There is no specific treatment for infection; Antibiotics are not effective and no antiviral drugs have been found so far.
"Serious illnesses are treated through supportive therapy, which may include hospitalization, respiratory support, IV fluids, and prevention of other infections," the federal health agency says.
MASSACHUSETT'S WOMAN REPORTED DOORS FROM RARE MOSQUITO-BORN VIRUS: & # 39; SHE WAS AS A VERY SOUL & # 39;
"Before this sudden illness, she was a happy, loving little girl who loved to play with her friends and did gymnastics. She had just graduated from preschool and had her first week in kindergarten before this terrible tragedy began, "reads Sophia's GoFundMe." She loved playing with her dolls, spending time on the beach and playing with her dog Rocky. "
Nine cases of EEE have been confirmed in Massachusetts this year, according to state health officials. Five to 10 cases of the virus are usually reported in the United States each year.