On Tuesday (09/08/17) the Effingham County, Georgia Health Department released a statement regarding a horse that was tested for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). The test returned a positive result. Officials state EEE has also been detected mosquitoes in Chatham County.
Although no human cases have been reported this year in Georgia, According to the CDC, EEE is a rare illness in humans, and only a few cases are reported in the United States each year. Most cases occur in the Atlantic and Gulf Coast states. Most persons infected with Eastern Equine EncephalitisVirus have no apparent illness. Severe cases of EEE (involving encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain) begin with the sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting. The illness may then progress into disorientation, seizures, or coma. EEE is one of the most severe mosquito-transmitted diseases in the United States with approximately 33% mortality and significant brain damage in most survivors. There is no specific treatment for EEE; care is based on symptoms. You can reduce your risk of being infected with EEEV by using insect repellent, wearing protective clothing, and staying indoors while mosquitoes are most active. If you think you or a family member may have EEE, it is important to consult your healthcare provider for proper diagnosis.
The health department encourages horse and large animal owners to vaccinate their animals against the EEE and to clean out watering sources every few days to prevent mosquito breeding.