Mosquitoes spreading brain-infecting virus in Florida

Health officials in Orange County, Florida have issued a public announcement warning residents of the deadly Eastern equine encephalitis virus.


NSFW    ORANGE COUNTY, FLORIDA — Health officials in Orange County, Florida have issued a public advisory warning residents of an increase of mosquitoes carrying the Eastern equine encephalitis virus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus is spread from avian hosts such as chickens to mosquitoes. The mosquitoes carry the virus and transmit it to humans.

Florida officials had found that sentinel chickens in the county tested positive for the disease.

Symptoms include sudden headache, high fever, chills, vomiting and swelling of the brain. After contracting the virus, symptoms take around four to 10 days to develop. The CDC's website states that there is currently no human vaccine available against the disease.

Florida's health officials advised the public to drain standing water to prevent mosquitoes from multiplying. Officials also advised the public to wear long-sleeved clothing, apply mosquito repellent and close the windows to prevent mosquito bites.

According to the CDC, an average of seven human cases of the deadly virus are reported in the U.S. every year. Most of the cases reported have been from Florida, Massachusetts, New York and North Carolina.
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