HARRISBURG, Pa. - A warning was issued to hunters Wednesday about a rare-mosquito-borne virus that has been found in Pennsylvania wildlife, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Eastern equine encephalitis, or EEE, has been documented in wildlife and wild stock in recent weeks.
Hunters are being warned to take precautions against mosquito bites and to report dead or strange-active wild animals who may be infected.
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No human cases have been reported in Pennsylvania, but it can infect humans through bites of mosquitoes who have fed on infected animals.
People infected with EEE may not show any signs of illness, but some of those infected can develop flu-like symptoms and can cause death.
EEE has infected two wild turkeys and a wild deer in Pennsylvania this year. The virus it is not considered a threat to the state's deer or turkey populations, the game commission said.
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The game commission issued the following tips to hunters:
- Wear gloves when field dressing, skinning, and/or processing game
- Clean knives thoroughly before and after using them for skinning, dressing and processing, or use different knives for each step, then clean them well afterward. Hand-wash first, then wash them in a dishwasher.
- Thoroughly wash hands after field dressing, skinning, and processing game.
- Cook wild game meat thoroughly to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F.
There is no evidence that people can become infected with EEE by preparing or eating infected meat.
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