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Georgia resident dies of mosquito-borne EEE, officials urge caution

Eastern Equine Encephalitis is a virus that's spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito that causes swelling of the brain.

LIBERTY COUNTY, Ga. — (The video above is from a previous report done on Oct. 3, 2019)

A resident of Liberty County, Georgia has died after contracting Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), according to the Coastal Health District.

EEE is a virus that is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito that causes swelling of the brain

There is no way to verify exactly where the virus was contracted so the Coastal Health District is encouraging people to take precautions against mosquito bites. 

EEE is rare in humans; however, humans are susceptible to the virus. Previously, there have been two 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. 

RELATED: VERIFY: What you should know about mosquito-borne EEE virus

In horses, EEE is fatal 70 to 90 percent of the time. Horse and large animal owners are encouraged to vaccinate their animals against the virus and to clean out watering sources to prevent mosquitoes from breeding there.

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