A potentially deadly mosquito-borne virus known to cause brain swelling has been detected in Florida, according to the state’s health department.
The disease, known as Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV), was found in a number of chickens last week. Officials have warned that the risk of transmission to humans has increased.
EEEV is one of a group of mosquito-transmitted viruses that can cause encephalitis, or inflammation in the brain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
The CDC warns that approximately one-third of all EEEV cases are fatal, and many people who survive sustain mild to severe brain damage. Symptoms typically appear abruptly and can include chills, fever, joint pain and muscle pain.
The virus has traditionally been uncommon in the U.S. — with an average