The Wayne County Public Health (WCPH) Department has received notification from the New York State Department of Health Arbovirus Laboratory of a positive report of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in a horse in the Town of Rose in Wayne County.

Beautiful horses
Public domain image/Dusan Bicanski

EEE is a rare disease caused by a virus spread by infected mosquitoes. EEE virus (EEEV) is one of a group of mosquito-transmitted viruses that can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis). EEE is a rare illness in humans and is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can affect humans, birds, horses and other mammals. Disease transmission does not occur directly from person to person, mammal to mammal, or mammal to person.

Mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn. WCPH is urging residents to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites and protect themselves from potential exposure to the mosquito born illness until the first hard frost by using insect repellent properly. Those that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus are most effective but should be used with care, limiting outdoor activities in areas where mosquitoes are most active and between dusk and dawn which is the peak mosquito biting time, if you have to be outside, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes and socks as weather permits, repairing or replacing all window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside and reducing or eliminating all standing water.