Second Vermonter Dies From EEE

09/18/12 4:04PM By Nina Keck
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AP/Pat Wellenbach
Cattail mosquitos are seen in a petri dish for inspection at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute in South Portland, Maine. Cattail mosquitos can transmit Eastern equine encephalitis and West Nile virus to humans.

The Vermont Health Department is confirming that a second person has died from Eastern Equine Encephalitis. 49-year-old Scott Sgorbati, of Sudbury, died this morning at Rutland Regional Medical Center after weeks in intensive care.  

Sgorbati was a carpenter who loved to read and fish. He grew up in Philadelphia, one of six kids, and moved to Vermont in the 1970s. He and his wife Kathleen have two sons ages 10 and 14.

Sister-in-law, Susan Sgorbati says Scott was a loving father, brother, son and husband who was always ready to lend a hand."He would always do small jobs for people if they needed it," she says.  "Or if someone was hurting over something, Scotty was very compassionate and always there for people."

Scott Sgorbati had been hospitalized since mid-August with Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a rare and potentially fatal brain infection spread by mosquitoes. Earlier this month, 87-year old Richard Hollis Breen, of Brandon, died of the illness.

Susan Sgorboti says the local community has been wonderful planning various fundraisers and the outpouring of support has been very appreciated.   She says the last few weeks have been incredibly difficult for the family and Scott's death is a big loss.  "He really was a very special human being," Susan says. He had a very large heart and he will be very, very missed."

In a statement, Vermont Health Commissioner Harry Chen offered his condolences to the family. He said the state took proactive steps to reduce the risk of exposure last week when the Agency of Agriculture conducted aerial spraying in Brandon and Whiting - areas where EEE carrying mosquitoes had been identified.

Chen continues to advise all Vermonters to take actions to protect themselves from mosquito bites and risk of infection from EEE and West Nile virus.  

 


 

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