No matter where you live, fight the bite!
A second horse in Franklin County has died as a result of contracting Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). The Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets has received laboratory confirmation.
“People who live in the area of Highgate and Swanton are considered to be at high risk for EEE, based on this evidence,” said Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD. “But we continue to urge all Vermonters, no matter where they live, to take actions to avoid mosquito bites until the first killing frost. Wherever there are mosquitoes, there is the possibility of EEE or West Nile virus.”
A killing frost is defined as below 28 degrees for at least several hours.
EEE is a serious disease that is transmitted to humans and some animals by the bite of an infected mosquito. Last year, two people who lived in the southern Addison County/northern Rutland County area died from EEE. This is an area of the state where mosquito trapping and testing has shown consistent evidence of mosquitoes carrying the EEE virus. Active mosquito surveillance is conducted in that area, with limited surveillance in parts of Franklin County. It’s likely that EEE and West Nile virus are present in other parts of the state.
The Agency of Agriculture has recommendations for vaccinating susceptible animals such as horses, camelids (llamas and alpacas) and emus. There is no vaccine for humans.
No matter where you live, fight the bite:
1. Stay inside or limit the amount of time spent outdoors at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active and biting.
2. Use insect repellents labeled as being effective against mosquitoes.
3. Cover up with long sleeves, long pants, socks, shows, hat and head net when possible.
4. Dump standing water from around your house twice a week.
The latest news and extensive information about mosquito-borne illness and precautions to take – including posters, flyers and messages for higher risk areas – is available at healthvermont.gov.