The Chatham County Health Dept. said Wednesday that a horse in West Chatham County has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
The virus that is carried and transmitted by infected mosquitoes and causes swelling of the brain. Health officials recommended that owners get their horses vaccinated against the virus. It can be fatal for horses about 70 to 90 percent of the time. To keep mosquitoes from breeing, owners of large animals are encouraged to clean out watering sources every three-to-four days.
EEE infection in humans is rare, but an EEE infection in a local horse is indicative of an increased risk to humans, according to the health department. The best way to prevention the virus is to avoid attracting mosquitoes.
Residents, especially those who live near water, are encouraged to take minimize mosquitoes around their property by removing standing water in outdoor containers.
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