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Mosquitos A Health Risk In Fla. Panhandle

Mosquitos are making people and animals in the Florida Panhandle sick. A new case of West Nile Virus in Gadsden Co. and three Leon Co. horses with a deadly mosquito-borne illness have health officials reminding everyone to protect themselves against getting bitten.

The horses have contracted the usually fatal Eastern Equine Encephalitis, which can also infect people.

Even though the weather’s been a tiny bit cooler and drier lately, Leon Co. Health Department Administrator Homer Rice said it’s still peak mosquito season.

“I would not relax ‘til I’m eating Thanksgiving dinner," he said.

He said mosquitos are most active at dawn and dusk, so people should always wear repellent when they’re outdoors at those times. And make sure mosquitos don’t have a place to lay their eggs.

“If you’ve got things around your house that are accumulating water, just tip them over," he said.

Rice said, a small percentage of people who get West Nile Virus develop a fatal neurological condition.