August 13, 2014
Valdosta, GA - Officials in South Georgia are warning residents to protect themselves and their animals from mosquito-borne illnesses.
It comes after a horse in Lowndes County died of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or Triple E. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, mosquito samples, called pools in Lowndes County have tested positive for both Triple E and the West Nile Virus. Health officials say horses and people aren't the only ones that can contract the virus, pets and livestock can too.
"Typically when we find out that a horse has been exposed to Triple E, we find that out because they have died, and because the owner wants them tested. So unfortunately, that's usually how we find that out", says Courtney Sheeley, with the Georgia Department of Public Health.
Valdosta – Public Health officials are encouraging South Georgians to wear mosquito spray whenever outdoors to guard against mosquito-borne illnesses. A horse in Lowndes County tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and mosquito samples, called pools have tested positive for EEE and West Nile Virus (WNV) this season.
“While we see these types of reports each year, it’s still important for us to remember the importance of preventing mosquito bites whenever possible,” says Courtney Sheeley, public information officer. “Mosquito borne illnesses can cause severe sickness, brain damage or death in some cases.”
EEE and WNV are transmitted to humans and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. “Even though it’s rare for a human to be infected with either illness, anyone can become ill after being bit by an infected mosquito. The risk is higher for people who spend a lot of time outdoors or live in wooded or swampy areas,” says Sheeley.
Tips to prevent mosquito bites are:
For more information on mosquito borne illnesses visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at This LINK.