Heads-up, Floridians: A dangerous and potentially deadly mosquito-borne virus has been discovered in the state, Florida Department of Health said in Orange County (DOH-Orange) late last week.
"Several sentinel chickens in the same herd" tested positive for the equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) according to DOH-Orange.
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EEE is a rare disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Disease Control (CDC). EEEV "belongs to a group of mosquito-borne viruses that can cause brain inflammation (encephalitis)," says the Federal Health Office.
EEE is more prevalent in Atlantic and Gulf Coast states and has been reported in the Great Lakes region. It's rare; In the US, only 5 to 1
Symptoms of electrical and electronic equipment typically occur four to 10 days after a person has been stung by an infected mosquito. Severe cases of the virus "begin with the sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills and vomiting," as the CDC noted, "the disease can then lead to disorientation, seizures, and coma."
One-third of those infected die, while survivors typically have "mild to severe brain damage."
There is no specific treatment for the infected. "Antibiotics are not effective against viruses, and no effective antiviral drugs have been discovered. Severe illnesses are treated by a supportive regimen that may include hospitalization, respiratory support, intravenous fluid delivery and the prevention of other infections, "says the CDC. In bird baths, in buckets or on pool covers), cover the skin with clothing and use DEET-containing insect repellent outdoors.