Deadly Mosquito Transmitted Virus prompts warning from Orange County Health Department
After a large flock of chickens that are used to monitor the illness tested positive for St. Louis encephalitis, the Orange County Health Department warns residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites. “There is a high risk for human exposure,” says Dain Weister, a spokesman for the Orange County Health Department.
What is St. Louis encephalitis? It is a virus that is transmitted to mosquitoes when they feed on birds that are infected with the virus. St. Louis encephalitis can be transmitted to humans and animals through mosquito bites. Elderly people are more at risk for transmitting the disease. There can be a wide range of symptoms or no symptoms at all. Symptoms typically occur 5-15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. Some of the symptoms include: fever, headache, neck stiffness, tremors, convulsions, coma and paralysis. The disease is fatal in 3 to 30% of people who transmit the disease and there is no known treatment.
Although, no one has contracted the illness yet, residents are urged to take precautions. Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Wear mosquito repellent, long pants and long-sleeved shirts when outside. Some other precautions include draining standing water around the home from bird baths, gutters and any areas where rainwater collects. These are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Also, repair screens on windows and doors to detract mosquitoes from entering patios, screen rooms and your home. The chicken flocks that are spread out in six different areas of Orange County will continue to be monitored.
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Deadly Mosquito Transmitted Virus prompts warning from Orange County Health Department in Orlando and surrounding counties
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