Encephalitis is a disease primarily infecting birds, but can also be transmitted through mosquitos to horses. Nearly 90 percent of horses infected will die from the disease.
Lauri Lauder says she's taking extra measures to protect her horses from being next.
"I have raised horses and we have always taken preventative medication twice a year, in April and in October to prevent encephalitis," Lauri said.
Atkinson, Bryan, Clinch, Mitchell and Tift Counties have now reported animals ill with the disease. For vaccination information in your area, health officials urge you to contact your local veterinarian.
- Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain that can be caused by viruses.
- Severe symptoms include severe headaches, high fever, and mental disturbances such as confusion, irritability, and coma.
- Severe cases may end in death or with survivors suffering permanent loss of limb function, reduction of intelligence or emotional instability.
- Not all types of encephalitis viruses are carried by mosquitoes, but some are. In Alabama, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) has been reported.
- Prevent mosquitoes from breeding around the home.
- Mosquito larvae must live in still water fro five or more days to complete their growth before changing into adult biting mosquitoes capable of transmitting disease.
Protect Against Mosquitoes
- When possible avoid places where mosquitoes bite.
- During dawn and dusk, mosquitoes are most likely to bite.
- Wear light-colored protective clothing: Tightly woven materials that cover arms and legs provide some protection from mosquito bites.
- Have good screening on your home. Make sure door and window screens fit tightly and all holes are repaired.
- Use mosquito repellents. Apply repellents to clothes whenever possible, apply sparingly to exposed skin if the label permits.
- Repellents with about 30 percent “DEET” works best for adults. Use lower concentration for children.
Source: Web reports