Mosquito-Borne Illness Advisory in Orange County

An advisory from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County to cover up and wear mosquito repellent this July 4 holiday.

Health department officials this week issued an advisory about Eastern equine encephalitis after sentinel chickens tested positive for the disease.

There have been no reports of any human cases of the disease, but health authorities say its presence in the birds is an early warning that the disease is present among the mosquitoes that carry it, so precautions are in order.

Health officials say the virus is transmitted through bites by infected mosquitoes.

Authorities say that most people who do get bitten don't get sick; but in those cases where a person does fall ill, it can be severe.

Symptoms of Eastern equine encephalitis, or EEE, include a sudden headache with high fever, chills and vomiting.

According to health authorities, in some cases the condition can lead to coma and death.

Preventive measures include draining all standing water around the home and maintaining any swimming pools in good condition and thoroughly chlorinated. Those measures will reduce or eliminate mosquito populations.

People are also advised to cover up if they are out during the times mosquitoes are most active ... generally between dusk and dawn.

Long sleeves, along with shoes and socks are advised by health authorities, as well as bug repellents that contain DEET.

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