The Florida Health Department recently reported a small increase in the infestations by a mosquito-borne virus referred to as the Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in the Orange County area. The deadly virus has been associated with the inflammation of the brain (encephalitis).
Mosquitoes are the vectors of several diseases such as malaria and chikungunya, which are quite common, but less than ten cases of patients affected by the EEE virus are reported in the US every year. After several sentinel chickens and fowls in Orange County were tested positive, the health department warned Floridan’s against the increased risk of transmission to humans.
People infected with the virus develop symptoms 4-10 days after being bitten. The symptoms include headaches, high fever, chills, and vomiting, which can progress into disorientation and comma. No effective antiviral drugs have been discovered to fight the disease, and the patients who are affected by the virus suffer mild brain damage, and about a third of them die. The health department advised caution on the part of citizens by preventing stagnation of water and wearing appropriate clothing.