Florida 07/06/10 the ledger.com: by Eric Pera – Lakeland – A mosquito-borne disease advisory was issued Tuesday for all of Polk County, prompted by the recent deaths of two horses that tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis. The advisory urges special precautions to avoid exposure to mosquitoes, which can transmit the potentially deadly disease to humans. No human cases of EEE have been reported so far this year in Polk or anywhere else in the state, but the odds are getting better, health officials say, because of the wet weather, which promotes mosquito breeding. Horses are especially sensitive to the disease, and owners are urged to get them vaccinated. According to the Florida Department of Health, a human vaccine is being developed but is not yet available. The two animals that contracted EEE in recent weeks were kept in rural sections of Lake Wales and Frostproof, said Polk Medical Director Daniel Haight.
Florida 07/06/10 winknews.com: The Collier County Health Department (CCHD) and the Florida Department of Health are issuing a mosquito-borne advisory after a second positive report of a horse with Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEEV) in Collier County in the past two weeks.
Florida 07/06/10 chipleypaper.com: Chipley –This public service announcement is to advise that there has been increased mosquito-borne disease activity in area of Washington County and our neighboring counties, according to a news release from Health Director Rick Davis. Several of the Department of Health’s sentinel chicken flocks have tested positive for West Nile Virus. Two horses in Washington County have died from Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Davis said the horses were repoted ill in June and testing was done in early July confirming the disease.
Florida 07/03/10 cbs4.com: by Tiffani Helberg – Miami – Two horses in Miami-Dade county have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis and now health officials are warning it could spread to people. South Floridians are urged to drain any standing water and avoid places where they might come in contact with mosquitoes. In some cases, encephalitis can be fatal and it is one of the most serious mosquito-borne diseases in the United States. “Essentially what it means for the humans is that we have to protect ourselves,” said Lillian Rivera, director of the Miami Dade Health Department. “Approximately one-third of the people who get it die and people who do survive have mild to severe brain damage. The risk is out there and avoid mosquito bites. So this is just an alert.” And there is evidence that the problem extends throughout Florida. A horse in Okeechobee County recently tested positive and that horse had to be euthanized.
Florida 07/03/10 tampabay.com: Dade City – Health officials have confirmed a case of Eastern equine encephalitis in a local horse, prompting reminders to east Pasco residents to protect themselves against mosquito-borne diseases. The disease was found in a Dade City horse that had been euthanized, said Deanna Krautner, spokeswoman for the Pasco County Health Department. “Although cases of (Eastern equine encephalitis) are rare in humans, if a person gets sick with the disease it is often serious and can even be fatal,” said county health officer Dr. David Johnson. He suggested residents use insect repellent, wear protective clothing and stay indoors when mosquitoes are most active. Most people infected with the virus will have no symptoms. But in severe cases, a person can suffer an inflammation of the brain, with symptoms including headache, chills, high fever and vomiting. The illness may progress into disorientation, seizures or coma. Anyone with symptoms should consult a medical professional.
Florida 07/01/10 wflx.com: by Elizabeth Stewart – Jupiter – Palm Beach County is confirming a case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis. A horse from the Jupiter area had to be euthanized last week. So far, no sentinel chickens in Palm Beach County have tested positive for the virus. But, several test chickens in Stuart have tested positive for the virus.
Florida 06/29/10 naplesnews.com: by Kelly Farrell – There is a statewide upsurge in the number of deadly Eastern Equine Encephalitis cases, announced Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles Bronson in a prepared release on Tuesday. Humans are also susceptible although the risk is much lower than the 90 percent mortality rate in horses, officials say. A horse in Golden Gate Estates was euthanized recently due to catching EEE from a mosquito, which is the common transmitter of the virus. Although the 16 cases of EEE confirmed in horses throughout the state isn’t reaching epidemic proportions, Bronson reported that an increase of EEE and West Nile Virus in sentinel chickens in the southern part of Florida is cause for concern.