Local health officials are warning families about a mosquito-borne disease that has already been linked to at least seven deaths in the Northeast.
It’s Eastern equine encephalitis, or EEE.
St. Johns County officials issued a warning Wednesday for that and West Nile virus, a more common mosquito-borne disease, saying they’ve seen recent signs in animals.
Danielle Chewning, of St. Johns, likes being outside by her fire pit.
But after this warning from the Florida Department of Health in St. Johns County, she knows she’ll have to take steps to stay protected.
“When I go outside, and we have a fire pit outside, so that’s something I need to be aware of,” Chewning said.
The Center for Disease Control said EEE kills nearly one-third of those infected. It said many survivors have ongoing neurological problems.
CBS News reports it has already killed at least seven people in Massachusetts and Connecticut and more than two dozen people have been infected in six states.
“It’s kind of scary,” Chewning said. “I didn’t even know that this was an issue in this area.”
The DOH and Anastasia Mosquito Control said they have their eye on this.
They said during routine checks, the diseases were found in their sentinel chicken population.
They said while there are no human cases at this time, the potential risk for people to get these diseases has increased.
Health officials urge people to drain standing water and keep skin covered and protected with insect repellant.
“It’s better to be safe than sorry,” Chewning said.
Source:: Daily times