Chatham County Mosquito Control has confirmed that Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) has been detected in western Chatham County. Mosquito Control has subsequently conducted mosquito abatement activities in that area.
EEE is a mosquito-borne virus that causes swelling of the brain. In horses, it is fatal 70 to 90 percent of the time. Horse and large animal owners are encouraged to vaccinate their animals against the virus and to clean out watering sources, such as buckets and troughs, every three to four days to prevent mosquitoes from breeding there. The primary mosquito that transmits EEE breeds in freshwater swamps. No human cases of disease have been reported in Georgia this year; however, humans are susceptible to EEE.
EEE is one of several viruses that can be transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes including West Nile Virus, chikungunya, and Zika.
One of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of mosquito-borne viruses is controlling the mosquito population by eliminating standing water around the home and in the yard. In addition, clean out gutters, remove piles of leaves, and keep vegetation cut low to prevent landing sites for adult mosquitoes. For containers without lids or that are too big to tip over or toss out (bird baths, garden pools), use larvicides such as Mosquito Dunks or Pre-Strike Mosquito Torpedoes and follow the label instructions. These larvicides will not hurt birds or animals.
It is also important to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Use EPA-registered insect repellents containing 20%-30% DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Wear light colored clothing with long sleeves, long pants and socks to help prevent mosquito bites.
Residents are always encouraged to remember the 5 D’s of Prevention:
- Dusk/Dawn – Mosquitoes usually bite at dusk and dawn, so avoid or limit outdoor activity at these times.
- Dress – Wear loose-fitting, long sleeved shirts and pants to reduce the amount of exposed.
- DEET – Cover exposed skin with an insect repellent containing DEET, which is the most effective repellent against mosquito bites.
- Drain - Empty any containers holding standing water because they are excellent breeding grounds for virus-carrying mosquitoes.
Doors – Make sure doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly, and fix torn or damaged screens to keep mosquitoes out of the house.
For effective insect repellents that do not contain DEET click here