SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) says an adult resident of Liberty County has died after contracting Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).
The EEE virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. The virus causes swelling of the brain.
DPH says there is no way to verify exactly where the virus was contracted, and everyone is encouraged to take precautions against mosquito bites.
Previously, there have been 2 cases of EEE in the 8-county Coastal Health District since 2010, with one death in 2018.
According to the CDC, most people infected with EEE do not show illness.
Symptoms in severe cases of EEE include a sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting.
The primary mosquito that transmits EEE breeds in freshwater swamps.
Residents are always encouraged to follow the 5Ds of mosquito bite prevention:
- Dusk/Dawn – Avoid dusk and dawn activities during the summer when mosquitoes are most active.
- Dress – Wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants to reduce the amount of exposed skin.
- DEET – Cover exposed skin with an insect repellent containing the DEET, which is the most effective repellent against mosquito bites.
- Drain – Empty any containers holding standing water – buckets, barrels, flowerpots, tarps – because they are breeding grounds for virus-carrying mosquitoes.
- Doors – Make sure doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly, and fix torn or damaged screens to keep mosquitoes out of the house.
For more information on mosquito-borne diseases, go to cdc.gov.