EEE in Macedon for 2nd Time

    By on October 14, 2015

    The Wayne County Public Health (WCPH) Department has received notification from the New York State Department of Health of a positive report of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in a 2nd horse in the Town of Macedon in Wayne County.

    Wayne County Public Health has been actively trapping mosquitoes in the Town of Rose and Galen and sending them for testing on a weekly basis. A mosquito pool in the Town of Galen has been found to have tested positive with West Nile Virus (WNV). Currently, no pools of mosquitoes have tested positive for EEE.

    Unvaccinated horses are very vulnerable to the EEE virus (EEEV) and die from the disease if infected. It is important to understand that even though the mosquito pools tested for EEE have resulted as negative, the death of two horses from EEE indicates there are mosquitoes in Wayne County carrying the EEEV.

    EEE is a rare disease caused by a virus spread by infected mosquitoes. EEEV is one of a group of mosquito-transmitted viruses that can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis). EEE is a rare illness in humans and is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can affect humans, birds, horses and other mammals. Disease transmission does not occur directly from person to person, mammal to mammal, or mammal to person.

    Mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn. However, we are rapidly approaching the end of the season of flight activity by biting mosquitoes due to the seasonable low nighttime temperatures. WCPH is urging residents to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites and protect themselves from potential exposure to the mosquito born illness until the first hard frost by:

    • Using insect repellent properly. Those that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus are most effective but should be used with care. Read the product label and use according to package instructions.

    • Limiting outdoor activities in areas where mosquitoes are most active and between dusk and dawn which is the peak mosquito biting time.

    • If you have to be outside, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes and socks as weather permits.

    • Repairing or replacing all window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.

    • Reducing or eliminating all standing water.

    • Emptying or disposing of pails, cans, flower pots, or similar water-holding containers.

    • Clearing roof gutters, removing leaf debris from yards and gardens, and cleaning vegetation and debris from the edge of ponds.

    • Turning over wheelbarrows and wading pools when not in use.

    • Cleaning and chlorinating swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs and drain pool covers.

    •Changing the water in birdbaths and horse troughs twice a week.

    • Disposing properly of old tires.

    What are the symptoms of EEE?

    Most people bitten by an infected mosquito will not develop any symptoms. Severe cases of EEE infection in humans begin with a sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting. The illness may then progress into disorientation, seizures, encephalitis and coma.

    What are the symptoms of WNV?

    Most people bitten by an infected mosquito will not develop any symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months. Severe cases can cause encephalitis.

    There is no human vaccine for EEE or WNV. The best way to protect yourself is to keep mosquitoes from biting you.

    There are EEE and WNV vaccines available for horses. Call your veterinarian for further information.

    For further information and or questions on EEE, please contact the Wayne County Public Health Department at 315-946-5749, weekdays between 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

    For more information on EEE, please visit: www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/eastern_equine_encephalitis/fact_sheet.htm

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