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EEE detected across South Georgia; see where and how to protect yourself

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Posted at 10:07 AM, Jul 01, 2024
  • Cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis have shown up in South Georgia.
  • Although there is no vaccine for humans to prevent EEE and West Nile Virus, there are vaccines available for horses.
  • Read the South Health District Georgia Department of Public Health news release about the disease below.

DPH NEWS RELEASE:

The Georgia Department of Public Health’s South Health District has received three positive Eastern Equine Encephalitis notifications. A horse in Berrien County has tested positive as well as one mosquito pool in Irwin County and one in Lowndes County.

While it is not uncommon to have positive notifications for EEE in our region at this time of year, it also highlights the importance of remaining vigilant in protecting yourself against mosquito bites as they are the most common form of transmission for mosquito-borne illnesses.

Tips to prevent mosquito bites are:

  • Use insect repellent containing DEET, picardin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin and/or clothing.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants when weather permits.
  • Have secure, intact screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
  • Eliminate mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flowerpots, buckets, barrels, wading pools and other containers. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out.
  • Be sure to use repellent and wear protective clothing from dusk to dawn or consider indoor activities during these times due to peak mosquito biting hours.

"These three positive notifications are spread out across our district, which tells us that EEE is present in our region," said Chris Calhoun, District Environmental Health Director. “We want to encourage everyone to take extra precautions to protect themselves against mosquito bites. While these notifications do happen most years, we must continue to take it seriously."

Although there is no vaccine for humans to prevent EEE and West Nile Virus, there are vaccines available for horses. Consult with your veterinarian to have your horse(s) vaccinated as early as possible.

For more information on mosquito borne illnesses visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at www.cdc.gov [cdc.gov].