The Florida Department of Health has issued a medical alert for Suwannee County because of a case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE, in a resident.
Wanda Crowe, Community Health Nursing Director, says, "The symptoms and the lab reports together all combined to say that this resident did meet case definition for a case of EEE."
Health officials say it takes from four to 10 days after the bite of an infected mosquito for symptoms to develop. Symptoms begin with a sudden onset of fever, general muscle pains, and an increasing headache.
Many people will progress to seizures and coma.
Suwannee County health officials say the county's human case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis is not cause for panic. However, they do continue to advise the public to remain diligent in their personal mosquito protection. This includes the five Ds for prevention.
Larry Williams, Environmental Health Director, says, “Try to stay out of mosquito-biting times, which are dusk and dawn. Wear clothing that covers most of your body. Use deet or insect repellent, and drain any kind of standing water anywhere around your house."
Approximately one-third of people with EEE die from the mosquito-borne disease.
Other human cases were confirmed in Leon and Gadsden Counties.
EEE was also confirmed in a horse in Grady County last week.