On Friday, August 1, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office arrested Jeffery Brown for failure to properly care for nearly 20 horses on his property located at 385 NW The Lords Ct.
The investigation began in mid-July, when deputies were called to an address in the unincorporated county area to check on horses that had wandered onto the neighboring property looking for water. Detective Caleb Douglas of the Criminal Investigation Division responded and initially identified several horses that were suffering from illnesses such as “dew poisoning” and “rain rot”. One horse had injuries consistent with being caught in a fence and required medical attention and another one was down with an unknown debilitating illness.
A veterinarian responded and evaluated the injured and downed horse. After the evaluation of the downed horse and collection of a blood sample, the veterinarian advised the horse was suffering and recommended it be euthanized, which was conducted by the vet.
The blood sample revealed the horse had Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEE). Horses are routinely inoculated against EEE and many other diseases. EEE is transmitted by mosquitos and cannot be transmitted horse to horse or horse to human. Although EEE is a health risk to humans, the disease is extremely rare in the U.S. with 5-10 cases reported annually per the CDC website.
CCSO is coordinating with the Florida Department of Health in Columbia County to educate our citizens and ensure appropriate steps are taken to minimize the risk to them. Attached is the alert issued by the Florida Department of Health in Columbia County.
Jeffery Brown was booked into the Columbia County Detention Facility on 2 counts of Animal Cruelty and 9 counts Animal neglect $65,000 total bond. The horses were seized and impounded so they could receive proper care.
For Immediate Release Contact: Sallie Ford
July 31, 2014 (386)758-1058
THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IN COLUMBIA COUNTY
ISSUES MOSQUITO- BORNE ILLNESSES
COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL””The Florida Department of Health in Columbia County emphasizes the importance of protection against mosquito-borne diseases after receiving confirmation of two horses within Columbia County that recently tested positive for Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). A total of two horse cases of EEE have been identified in Columbia County this calendar year. EEE is caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitos and can infect humans. The risk of transmission to humans has been increased.
Symptoms of EEE in humans may include headache, fever, fatigue, dizziness, weakness and confusion. Physicians should contact the local county health department if they suspect an individual may have a mosquito borne disease.
The Florida Department of Health in Columbia County continues surveillance and prevention efforts and encourages everyone to take basic precautions to help limit exposure by following the Department’s recommendations.
To protect yourself from mosquitoes, you should remember “Drain and Cover”:
DRAIN standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying
”¢ Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected.
”¢ Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren’t being used.
”¢ Empty and clean birdbaths and pet’s water bowls at least once or twice a week.
”¢ Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.
”¢ Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
COVER skin with clothing or repellent
ï‚§ CLOTHING – Wear shoes, socks, and long pants and long-sleeves. This type of protection may be necessary for people who must work in areas where mosquitoes are present.
ï‚§ REPELLENT – Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing.
”¢ Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with DEET(N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide), picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are effective.
”¢ Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.
COVER doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house
ï‚§ Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches, and patios.
Tips on Repellent Use
ï‚§ Always read label directions carefully for the approved usage before you apply a repellent. Some repellents are not suitable for children.
ï‚§ Products with concentrations of up to 30 percent DEET are generally recommended. Other US Environmental Protection Agency-approved repellents contain Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. These products are generally available at local pharmacies. Look for active ingredients to be listed on the product label.
ï‚§ Apply insect repellent to exposed skin, or onto clothing, but not under clothing.
ï‚§ In protecting children, read label instructions to be sure the repellent is age-appropriate. According to the CDC, mosquito repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under the age of three years. DEET is not recommended on children younger than two months old.
ï‚§ Avoid applying repellents to the hands of children. Adults should apply repellent first to their own hands and then transfer it to the child’s skin and clothing.
ï‚§ If additional protection is necessary, apply a permethrin repellent directly to your clothing. Again, always follow the manufacturer’s directions.
For more information on what repellent is right for you consider using the EPA search tool to help you choose skin-applied repellent products:
DOH continues to conduct statewide surveillance for mosquito borne illnesses, including West Nile virus infections, Eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, malaria, and dengue. Residents of Florida are encouraged to report dead birds via the web site for Surveillance of Wild-bird Die-offs located at http://www.myfwc.com/bird/. For more information, visit DOH’s web site at http://www.doh.state.fl.us/Environment/medicine/arboviral/index.html or call your local county health department.