An unvaccinated horse in Marion County tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) on Feb. 28 after displaying symptoms of the disease. The Florida Department of Health in the county suggests that people who board animals around the Citra area should be on heightened alert for the disease and vaccinate horses that have not been vaccinated.
EEE is carried by mosquitoes and can infect mammals, reptiles, birds and amphibians. Symptoms, which can include blindness, depression, seizures or staggering, develop three to 10 days after being bitten by a mosquito infected with EEE. The disease is 30 to 45 percent fatal in humans and 80 to 90 percent fatal in horses.
Florida has about 60 reported equine cases of EEE and one to two reported human cases per year. This is the first case of EEE Marion County has seen in 2018. The Florida Department of Health encourages the use of mosquito repellent and draining standing water to reduce mosquito habitat.
For more information, visit Villages-News.com.
For more information on Eastern Equine Encephalitis, visit FloridaHealth.
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