Marianna - Due to a recently confirmed horse case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), located East of Marianna, the Jackson County Health Department is encouraging residents and visitors to take a number of steps to protect themselves against mosquitoes.
The state monitors animals as sentinels for arboviruses, including Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus, West Nile (WN) virus and St. Louis encephalitis (SLE) virus, to determine if any of those three viruses are present in the community.
The Florida Departments of Health (DOH) and Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), along with other state and local agencies, are working to detect the viruses spread by mosquitoes to humans or animals and the Jackson County Health Department has increased Mosquito Control efforts in the area. Mosquito-borne infections in people can cause headache, fever, dizziness, confusion, movement disorders and coma.
For more information on mosquito-borne diseases, please visit DOH’s Environmental Health web site http://www.doh.state.fl.us/Environment/medicine/arboviral/index.html, the CDC web site www.cdc.gov, call the West Nile Virus Hotline at 1-888-880-5782, or contact your local county health department. Additionally, information on arboviruses can be found at the FDACS' web site, http://www.doacs.state.fl.us/ai/, or by calling (850) 410-0900.
Prevention of Mosquito Bites and Mosquito-borne Illness:
• Minimize outdoor activities between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
• When outdoors and mosquitoes are present, wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt.
• Use mosquito repellent as directed by the manufacturer.
• Repair residential screening, including porches and patios, if tears or other openings are found.
• Eliminate mosquito breeding sites.
Tips on Eliminating Mosquito Breeding Sites:
• Clean out eaves, troughs and gutters.
• Remove old tires or drill holes in those used in playgrounds to drain.
• Turn over or remove empty plastic pots.
• Pick up all beverage containers and cups.
• Check tarps on boats or other equipment that may collect water.
• Pump out bilges on boats.
• Replace water in birdbaths and pet or other animal feeding dishes at least once a week.
• Change water in plant trays, including hanging plants, at least once a week.
• Remove vegetation or obstructions in drainage ditches that prevent the flow of water.
Residents of Florida are encouraged to report dead birds via the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)’s web site at http://www.MyFWC.com/bird, or call their county health department or local FWC office. You can reach the Jackson County Health Department’s Environmental Health Section at 482-9227.