Mosquitoes Carrying Deadly, Brain-Swelling Virus Detected In Central Florida

Henrietta Brewer
July 30, 2019

Symptoms of EEE begin with the sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills and vomiting about four to 10 days after the bite of an infected mosquito, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The warning comes after "several sentinel chickens in the same flock" tested positive for the disease, known as Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEE), the department said in a statement on Thursday.

This story was first published on, "A deadly mosquito-borne virus that causes brain swelling in humans has been detected in Florida".

The department continues to conduct statewide vigilance for mosquito-borne illnesses, which includes West Nile virus infections, Eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, malaria, chikungunya, and dengue. The symptoms include seizures, disorientation or even a coma.

The Florida Department of Health reminds residents and visitors to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and to take basic precautions to help limit exposure.

This infection leads to serious swelling in the brain. You can also spray the pesticide permethrin on clothing, including socks and shoes (not while you're wearing it), for an extra layer of protection. Because mosquitoes deposit their eggs in water, dumping out any standing water and covering containers that could accumulate rain water should be a top priority.

Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Lastly, wear long-sleeve shirts and trousers when outdoors, especially at nighttime.

Make use of mosquito repellents.

About five to 10 cases of EEE are reported in the USA annually, and about a third of the patients who develop it die, according to the CDC. The CDC recommends using Environment Protection Agency-registered ones with ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. If you're experiencing any of this, it's better to be safe than sorry and get checked out right away. Ask your children's pediatrician for safe insect repellent options for kids and how to apply them safely.

If mosquitos are in your area, opt for lightweight long-sleeve shirts, pants, and socks to cover up exposed skin.

There are several protective screens for doors and windows.

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