A horse in Effingham County has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). EEE also has been detected in the mosquito population in Chatham County. EEE is a mosquito-borne virus that causes swelling of the brain and poses a significant risk to both horses and humans.
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. Residents are encouraged to use EPA-registered insect repellents containing 20-30 percent DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus to protect themselves from mosquitoes. In addition, wearing light colored clothing with long sleeves, long pants, and socks can help prevent mosquito bites.
Residents are encouraged to help by keeping mosquitoes from breeding by getting rid of standing water around the home and in the yard. For containers without lids or that are too big to tip over or toss out (bird baths, garden pools), use larvicides such as Mosquito Dunks or Pre-Strike Mosquito Torpedoes and follow the label instructions. These larvicides will not harm birds or animals.
Residents are always encouraged to remember the five Ds of prevention:
* Dusk/Dawn – Mosquitoes usually bite at dusk and dawn, so avoid or limit outdoor activity at these times.
* Dress – Wear loose-fitting, long sleeved shirts and pants to reduce the amount of exposed.
* DEET – Cover exposed skin with an insect repellent containing the DEET, which is the most effective repellent against mosquito bites.
* Drain - Empty any containers holding standing water because they are excellent breeding grounds for virus-carrying mosquitoes.
* Doors – Make sure doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly, and fix torn or damaged screens to keep mosquitoes out of the house.
For more information on EEE: http://www.cdc.gov/EasternEquineEncephalitis/