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7-Year-Old Indiana Girl Dies of Encephalitis

August 23, 1996

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (AP) _ A 7-year-old Indiana girl has apparently died of encephalitis after being bitten by an infected mosquito at the home of her great-grandparents.

Brittany Salem of Kokomo, Ind., died Tuesday at Children’s Hospital in Columbus. She had been visiting Devon and Martha Ison in Lucasville, Mike Trapp, director of environmental health in Scioto County, said Thursday.

She was apparently bitten by a treehole mosquito carrying La Crosse encephalitis, a viral infection that inflames the brain, Trapp said. Symptoms usually start to appear within three to 14 days of infection, but the disease usually is not fatal.

On Aug. 2, Brittany started vomiting and said she had a headache and a stiff neck. The next day she was taken to Scioto Memorial Hospital. She was transported to Children’s last Sunday.

Although encephalitis was suspected, it will be a couple of weeks before authorities know for certain the cause of death, Trapp said.

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