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Horses in Bryan and Effingham counties test positive for EEE

 

By: Georgia Department of Public Health
9/6/2017 1:45:30 PM

 

A horse in Bryan County has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), according to the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH). EEE is a mosquito-borne virus that causes swelling of the brain and is fatal in horses 70 to 90 percent of the time. The virus has also been detected in the mosquito population in western Chatham County and a horse in Effingham County tested positive for EEE earlier this month.

Horse and large animal owners are encouraged to vaccinate their animals against the virus and to clean out watering sources, such as buckets and troughs, every three to four days to prevent mosquitoes from breeding there. The primary mosquito that transmits EEE breeds in freshwater swamps. No human cases of disease have been reported in Georgia this year; however, humans are susceptible to EEE. All residents are also encouraged to use EPA-registered insect repellents containing 20 percent to 30 percent DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus to protect themselves from mosquitoes and eliminating standing water around the home and in the yard where mosquitoes can breed.

The DPH is encouraging residents to tip out water in flowerpots, planters, children's toys, wading pools, buckets, etc., after rain, and discard unneeded items that can hold water, like old tires, bottles and cans.

The department also suggests avoiding dusk and dawn activities during the summer when mosquitoes are most active, wearing loose-fitting, long sleeved shirts and pants to reduce the amount of exposed skin and making sure doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly, and fix torn or damaged screens to keep mosquitoes outside.

 

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