The Florida Department of Health says that two horses have tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis, one in central and one in east Pasco County.
Officials said the mosquito-borne illness could be transmitted to humans.
Eastern equine encephalitis virus is spread through the bite of infected mosquitoes, and is not transmitted from human to human. It’s one of a group of mosquito-transmitted viruses that can cause inflammation of the brain, the department of health said.
Infections in people can cause headache, fever, dizziness, confusion, movement disorders and coma.
Those at highest risk include people who live in or visit wooded areas, work outdoors, or participate in outdoor recreation that puts them at a greater risk of exposure to potentially infected mosquitoes, officials said.
Health officials encourage residents to take precautions to limit exposure to mosquitoes, including staying indoors at dusk and dawn, dressing in clothing that covers the skin, using repellents and eliminating standing water where mosquitoes lay eggs.
Horse owners should contact their veterinarian for information on vaccination of horses against mosquito-borne diseases, officials said.