Risk for mosquito-borne illness on the rise in Orange County, health officials say

Chickens test positive for EEE

A new invasive mosquito that spread yellow fever has landed in south Florida and could spread northward across the state.
A new invasive mosquito that spread yellow fever has landed in south Florida and could spread northward across the state.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Orange County is warning of an increase in mosquito-borne disease activity in the area.

DOH-Orange said several sentinel chickens in one flock tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus infection. EEE is a rare but serious and often fatal infection that causes inflammation of the brain.

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Health officials clarified that although the risk of transmission to humans has increased, chicken flocks do not correlate to the risk of EEE infections to humans.

The agency is advising residents and visitors to take certain precautions to avoid being bitten by a mosquito.

Below is a list of recommendations from the department of health:

  • Drain standing water to keep mosquitos from multiplying. This includes birdbaths, garbage cans, pool covers and the like.
  • Cover skin with clothing or repellent, especially where mosquitos are more likely to be present. DOH-Orange advises using mosquito nets to protect children younger than 2 months old.
  • Avoid applying repellents to the hands of children and instead adults to apply repellent to their hands and then transfer it to a child’s skin.
  • Cover doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitos out of one’s home. Make sure to repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches and patios.

For more information, visit the agency’s dedicated website tracking mosquito-borne illnesses.


About the Author:

Gaby is a multimedia producer from Miami. She graduated from the University of Florida and joined the News 6 team in 2018.