A mosquito-transmitted illness has killed two horses in Polk County

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Eastern equine encephalitis, a mosquito-transmitted illness, has killed two horses in Polk County’s Green Swamp area. This virus is a disease that is transmitted to horses and humans by mosquitos. According to an email from Polk County, right now, there have been no reported or confirmed mosquito-borne diseases in humans in Polk County. The interim manager of Polk County’s Mosquito Control Program said, “We have not seen it in the Southern portion of the county yet, but people throughout the county should take precautions.”

Some precautions to limit exposure to mosquitos:

  • Drain any standing water to stop them from multiplying.
  • Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, pool covers, or any containers where rainwater can be collected.
  • Discard old tires, cans, pots, or broken appliances that are not being used.
  • Empty and clean bird baths and pet’s water bowls.
  • Cover skin with long clothing or mosquito repellent.
  • Maintain swimming pools and make sure they are properly chlorinated.
  • Use mosquito netting to protect children that are younger than 2 months old.

Here are some tips on using repellent:

  • Repellents with concentrations up to 30% DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) are generally recommended. Repellents that contain picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, paramenthane-diol, 2-undecanone or IR3535 are also recommended.
  • Always read the label instructions to make sure repellent is age appropriate.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mosquito repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol should not be used on children under the age of three years. DEET is not recommended on children younger than two months old.

For questions or concerns about aerial spraying please contact Polk County Mosquito Control at (863)534-7377.

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