Second Case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Marion County
Marion County, FL -- Marion County Health Officials are warning horse owners to vaccinate their horses.
The second case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis this year in Marion County was found in a horse about four miles east of Citra. It's a deadly mosquito-borne virus that attacks the nervous system in horses. Officials say the virus, and other mosquito-borne illnesses, can be prevented by vaccinating the horses. The two horses that were infected did die and were not vaccinated.
The vaccine is known to infect humans as well but it's not known to be deadly. Only two cases were reported in humans in Florida last year.
Officials from the Marion County Health Department urge residents to use repellent with Deet, Picaridin or lemon eucalyptus oil - these can be bought at any drug store or outdoor store. Also, officials urge residents to "drain and cover."
"Drain all sources of standing water, whether it's a bird bath or a dog dish or a boat or a tarp, just keep the area clean," said Craig Ackerman, spokesperson with the Marion County Health Department.
Ackerman also says this is the time of year mosquito-borne illnesses increase.
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