EEE case has health officials posting concerns of mosquitoes

Mosquito (NewsChannel 12 photo)

Mosquitoes carrying a possible life-threatening virus may be buzzing around your neighborhood.

Officials said the second case in the state this year of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) was found in a horse in Onslow County last week. It was confirmed the horse died of the virus.

"We did have a case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or Triple E, and it infected a horse ... get this, a disease very similarly to humans from a bite of a mosquito," said Pamela Brown, Community Relations Officer for the Onslow County Health Department.

Brown said symptoms vary. Some people may experience no sign of EEE but others may experience flu-like symptoms.

"If folks have a sudden onset of heat, fever, chills, headaches ... those types of things, vomiting, a sudden onset of those types of symptoms, we want them to contact their provider and let their provider know," Brown said.

Officials said it's important to let your doctor know because the symptoms can get much worse.

"Those symptoms can turn into things like seizures and coma and in rare cases this disease can be fatal to humans," Brown said.

So what's the best way to protect yourself? Brown said you can do so by using the basic common methods to battle mosquitoes. Brown also said to make sure you don't have standing water around your house.

"Using insect repellent, according to the directions, wearing long sleeves or long pants," Brown said. "If the temperature is not too warm. Making sure that there are no holes in the screens of the house so the mosquitoes can get inside.

"Just to make sure that you don't have standing water in any form around your house because then the mosquitoes, it's hard for them to reproduce. So you can actually cut down on the number of mosquitoes in the neighborhood."

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