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Deadly cases of mosquito-borne disease found in Columbus/New Hanover counties

Public health officials are on alert after cases of a deadly mosquito-borne disease were found in Columbus and New Hanover counties. Crews sprayed for mosquitoes in Castle Hayne, after Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis was found in a chicken flock that is regularly tested for illnesses there. A horse in Columbus County was recently put down after testing positive for EEE. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there is an average of only five cases in humans in the US each year. However, EEE is one of the deadliest mosquito-borne diseases. "We ask that people just be sure if you're outside at dusk and dawn that you wear long sleeves or long pants if possible,” said Dave Jenkins of the New Hanover County Environmental Health. “Apply DEET or some other insect repellent if you're going to be out and you know the mosquitoes are biting." Mosquitoes breed in even a little bit of stagnant water, so be sure to regularly clean out old tires, rain gutters, and other areas around your property.

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