DADE CITY — Health officials have confirmed a case of Eastern equine encephalitis in a local horse, prompting reminders to east Pasco residents to protect themselves against mosquito-borne diseases.
The disease was found in a Dade City horse that had been euthanized, said Deanna Krautner, spokeswoman for the Pasco County Health Department.
"Although cases of (Eastern equine encephalitis) are rare in humans, if a person gets sick with the disease it is often serious and can even be fatal," said county health officer Dr. David Johnson.
He suggested residents use insect repellent, wear protective clothing and stay indoors when mosquitoes are most active.
Most people infected with the virus will have no symptoms. But in severe cases, a person can suffer an inflammation of the brain, with symptoms including headache, chills, high fever and vomiting. The illness may progress into disorientation, seizures, or coma.
Anyone with symptoms should consult a medical professional.