Two horses in our area were recently diagnosed with Eastern Equine Encepthalitis Virus (EEEV), a mosquito-borne illness. Now, health officials in Baker and Clay Counties are warning residents to protect themselves from mosquitoes.

There have been 32 cases of EEEV in horses in Florida this year, 11 of those in Baker, Clay, Nassau and Putnam counties. Three horses in Clay had to be euthanized.

Linda Landis is the proud owner of Maddie, an 8 year old quarter horse she rides in horse shows. News of the virus outbreak has her concerned.

"It is scary, it effects their nervous system, it is not something you want to deal with," Landis said. Maddie is expecting, and Landis owns another horse as well. She makes sure her horses are vaccinated, she can't imagine losing one. Landis says she hopes this outbreak will get people to vaccinate their horses.\

Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus can be spread to people by mosquitoes so the Baker County health department and clay county did issue a mosquito advisory warning people to protect themselves from mosquitoes.

"I suggest you wear long sleeves if you are going to be out working in the garden or the yard, cover your skin up and the repellents you need to use have DEET in them and there are a variety you need to use," said Kerry Dunlavey.

You need to protect yourself through the month of August, peak activity for the virus which can be deadly in humans. Symptoms to look out for are fever, muscle pains and headaches.


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