ADEL, Ga. (WTXL) — The Georgia Department of Public Health’s South Health District announced Wednesday that a horse tested positive for the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus in Cook County.
The health department said there is a vaccine available for horses, but there is not a vaccine available for humans.
“Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for EEE to be detected in our region during the summer months,” Chris Calhoun, District Environmental Health Director said in a statement. “That is why we encourage everyone to take mosquito bite prevention seriously. Make sure you are tipping and tossing any standing water, wear protective clothing and spray, and avoid going outside during peak mosquito times.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, EEE is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito.
Only a handful of cases of EEE are reported each year and most cases are located in eastern or states along the Gulf of Mexico.
The CDC said 30% of people with EEE die and many survivors have ongoing neurologic issues.
The CDC and the south health district say wearing insect repellent containing DEET, wearing long sleeve shirts and long pants and taking measures to reduce environments that allow mosquitoes to thrive are ways to prevent mosquito bites.