Protecting yourself from Eastern Equine Encephalitis - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Protecting yourself from Eastern Equine Encephalitis

July 20, 2007

Lowndes County - A horse in Lowndes County has died after testing positive for the mosquito-borne illness, Eastern Equine Encephalitis or EEE.  This is the first confirmed case the South Health District noted in their region this year.

They say the horse in northern Lowndes County got sick and died this week. He tested positive for sleeping sickness, Eastern Equine Encephalitis.  "Its a mosquito borne disease that causes swelling of the brain," says Courtney Sheeley of the South Health District.

Though rare in humans, E.E.E. kills 30% of people who get it. That's why protecting yourself from mosquitoes is so important.  "Now that we are finally getting some rain, standing rain puddles, still water and carriers we are of course seeing more mosquitoes," she adds.

Use precautions like bug repellant's with DEET.  Avoid being outside at dawn or dusk, when mosquitoes are most active. .

Wear long sleeve and pants.  Empty any containers around your home that may collect water. And make sure your screens don't have holes to help keep mosquitoes from entering your home.

These steps will help reduce your risk of illness as the mosquito season continues.  "The west nile virus season isn't until September and October so we've got a ways to go on fighting mosquitoes," Sheeley says.

Until then, they'll continue monitoring mosquito activity in the area.

The mosquitoes are monitored through a collection program at Valdosta State University. Their finding help the city and county know where to spray and identify areas where a mosquito borne illness may be problem.

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