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Encephalitis reported in area horse
MR mosquito
Eastern equine encephalitis is a mosquito-borne viral disease. - photo by File photo / Coastal Courier
LUDOWICI -- A horse in Long County has tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis, a mosquito-borne viral disease, according to the Coastal Health District.
CHD Health Director Dr. Doug Skelton said EEE is one of the most serious mosquito-borne-diseases in the United States, but as of April 23, no human in the state had been diagnosed with the disease, this year.
According to the CHD, human infection with EEE is rare, but when it does take place about 35 percent of those infected die, and another 35 precent have neurological problems.
Symptoms can range from flu-like illness to encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, causing a coma and or death.  However, there have only been four cases of the disease in Georgia since 2003.
"The good news is that human cases of EEE don't happen often, but that doesn't mean we should let our guard down," CHD epidemiologist Robert Thorton said.
The best way to avoid any mosquito-borne disease, according to the CHD, is to cut the places where the insects breed around you, to avoid them and to wear repellants when you can't avoid them.
Empty any containers that hold standing water around your home and yard. Standing water, even tiny amounts, is where mosquitoes breed.
Also wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, and avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. The CHD recommends if you have to be outside, to applying repellants that contain DEET. That chemical is not recommended for toddlers and infants.
For questions about EEE, call Thorton at (912) 644-5200 or the the Long County Health Department at 545-2107.
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