Chatham County Mosquito Control has documented additional occurrences of the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus in the mosquito population in West Chatham County. EEE was detected in multiple areas of Chatham County in late May and again in June. EEE is a mosquito-borne virus that causes swelling of the brain and poses a significant risk to both horses and humans.
Horse and large animal owners are encouraged to vaccinate their animals against the virus and to clean out watering sources, such as buckets and troughs, every three to four days to prevent mosquitoes from breeding there. The primary mosquito that transmits EEE breeds in freshwater swamps. Residents are encouraged to use EPA-registered insect repellents containing 20%-30% DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus to protect themselves from mosquitoes. In addition, wearing light colored clothing with long sleeves, long pants, and socks can help prevent mosquito bites.
Chatham County Mosquito Control will continue to monitor EEE activity within the county and is taking measures to reduce the mosquito population by continuing to spray the affected areas. Residents are encouraged to help by keeping mosquitoes from breeding by getting rid of standing water around the home and in the yard. For containers without lids or that are too big to tip over or toss out (bird baths, garden pools), use larvicides such as Mosquito Dunks or Pre- Strike Mosquito Torpedoes and follow the label instructions. These larvicides will not harm birds or animals.
Residents are always encouraged to remember the 5 D’s of Prevention:
Dusk/Dawn – Mosquitoes usually bite at dusk and dawn, so avoid or limit outdoor activity at these times.
Dress – Wear loose-fitting, long sleeved shirts and pants to reduce the amount of exposed.
DEET – Cover exposed skin with an insect repellent containing the DEET, which is the most effective repellent against mosquito bites.
Drain – Empty any containers holding standing water because they are excellent breeding grounds for virus-carrying mosquitoes.
Doors – Make sure doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly, and fix torn or damaged screens to keep mosquitoes out of the house. For more information on EEE: www.cdc.gov/ EasternEquineEncephalitis/