"The Department continues to conduct statewide surveillance for mosquito-borne illnesses, including West Nile virus infections, Eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, malaria, chikungunya and dengue", officials said.
According to reports, many sentinel chickens have tested positive for EEE.
Whereas there's only been a median of seven cases of the EEE virus reported in U.S. residents every year, the illness is thought to be deadly about 30 % of the time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to a statement released Thursday by the Florida Department of Health in Orange County, several sentinel chickens recently contracted Eastern equine encephalitis virus and had antibodies present in their system to fight the disease. Their blood samples may show the presence of the diseases but it is not necessary that they would suffer from the viruses.
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This year, the virus has been detected in 25 horses, one emu, one eagle, and 77 chickens, in 27 counties across the sunshine state, including animals in Polk, Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus counties.
According to the Florida Department of Health, approximately 30-45% of people with encephalitis caused by EEEV will die from the disease, making it one of the most serious mosquito-borne diseases in the United States. In severe cases involving brain inflammation, symptoms start with the sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting.
People develop symptoms about four to 10 days after they are bitten by an infected mosquito, the CDC says. Survivors will battle many side effects including neurologic problems. The symptoms include seizures, disorientation or even a coma.
With summer in full swing, mosquitoes are buzzing around at peak populations.
Health officials in Florida advised residents to "drain and cover" to decrease the risk of exposure to infected mosquitoes. "It can cause brain swelling".
There is no known medical treatment or cure for the disease. Apparently, a mosquito is a carrier of several deadly diseases.