By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
Officials with the Georgia Department of Health are reporting an adult resident of Liberty County, Georgia has died after contracting Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).
This has prompted health officials to encourage the public to take precautions against mosquito bites.
EEE is rare in humans; however, humans are susceptible to the virus. Previously, there have been 2 cases of EEE in the 8-county Coastal Health District since 2010, with one death in 2018.
EEE is a mosquito-borne virus that causes swelling of the brain. According to the CDC, most people infected with EEE do not show illness. Symptoms in severe cases of EEE include a sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting. The primary mosquito that transmits EEE breeds in freshwater swamps.
In horses, it is fatal 70 to 90 percent of the time. 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 Coastal Health District encourages everyone to follow the 5 Ds of mosquito bite prevention:
Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. If you can, avoid going outside at dusk and dawn to reduce your chance of being bitten.
Wear loose-fitting, long sleeved shirts and pants to reduce the amount of exposed skin. If the mosquitoes can’t get to your skin, they can’t bite you.
Any skin that is exposed should be covered with an insect repellent containing DEET, which is the most effective repellent against mosquito bites. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label regarding how to apply and how often to reapply.
Mosquitoes need standing water for breeding, so be sure to empty any containers holding stagnant water, such as buckets, barrels, flowerpots, and tarps. Be especially mindful after a rain, and toss any standing water to discourage mosquito breeding around your home.
Make sure doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly. If you have screens on your windows and doors, be sure to fix any rips or tears so mosquitoes can’t get through the screens and into your home.