Four Floridians have died from a rare mosquito borne illness in the past six weeks. Eastern Equine Encephalitis is passed from birds to humans through mosquitoes. One in three people who contract the disease die, and there’s no cure.
Camp Bulloch lost his friend Wade Griffin last month to a rare mosquito borne illness. “Wade was one of a kind and just a genuinely good hard working person.”
Wade was 50 years old, a painter and a surfer. Last month he contracted Encephalitis, a disease transmitted from mosquitoes to humans. "He was bitten on Tuesday evening just as best as we can tell, Friday he was in the emergency room and the following Friday he passed away.”
Wade was living in Jacksonville, but health officials believe he contracted Encephalitis while visiting Tallahassee. Besides Wade three other Floridians have died from the mosquito borne illness in the past month and a half.
Two of the victims were from Hillsborough County and one lived in Wakulla County southwest of Tallahassee.
The disease is carried by mosquito living within five miles of swampy areas. There is no cure for Encephalitis, that’s why Dr. Carina Blackmore says the Department of Health is asking Floridians to take extra precautions like wearing bug repellent and staying indoors at dusk and dawn.
“It’s important to get rid of standing water in the yard and it’s also important to dress so that mosquitoes can’t get through the clothing you are wearing.”
They’re precautions Camp and his family now follow daily. “I make sure that myself and my children, my wife and everybody’s covered now because it’s something that could happen to anybody at anytime.”
There are only 10 cases of Encephalitis reported nationwide every year. Four is the average in Florida, but the dangerous season isn’t over until the end of September. People who have contracted Encephalitic show flu-like symptoms and they normally surface between four and 10 days of being bitten.