LOWNDES CO., GA (WALB) - Public Health officials are encouraging South Georgians to wear mosquito spray whenever outdoors to guard against mosquito-borne illnesses after a horse in Lowndes County tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis or EEE.
"While we see these types of reports each year, it's still important for us to remember the importance of preventing mosquito bites whenever possible," says Kenneth Lowery, district epidemiologist. "Mosquito borne illnesses can cause severe sickness, brain damage or death in some cases."
Most mosquito-borne illnesses are transmitted to humans and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. "Even though it's rare for a human to be infected with these illnesses, anyone can become ill after being bit by an infected mosquito. The risk is higher for people who spend a lot of time outdoors, live in wooded or swampy areas, or have traveled overseas to certain areas," says Lowery.
Although there is no vaccine for humans to prevent mosquito-borne illness, there are EEE and West Nile Virus vaccines available for horses.
Consult with your veterinarian to have your horses vaccinated as early as possible.
For more information on mosquito borne illnesses visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.