On 9/20/2015, the Wayne County Public Health Department received notice of a positive report for Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in a horse in the town of Galen in Wayne County, according to the New York State Department of Health Arbovirus Laboratory.
The Wayne County Public Health Department received notice of a positive report for Eastern equine encephalitis in a horse in the town of Galen in Wayne County, according to the New York State Department of Health Arbovirus Laboratory.
The confirmed case of Eastern equine encephalitis is now quarantined. Eastern equine encephalitis virus tends to occur in outbreak form.
The disease attacks the central nervous system and unvaccinated horses are very susceptible to the infection. The disease appears within five days after a mosquito transmits the virus to the horse. Onset of clinical symptoms are abrupt and infected horses often die within three days.
The fatality rate is 90% or higher and an animal that survives the disease may have brain damage.
Other diseases and poisoning may have similar symptoms. It is important that a speedy diagnosis is made. A veterinarian can take blood samples to send to a diagnostic laboratory.
- Sleepy appearance
- Muscle twitches in head, neck, shoulder and flanks
- Staggering gait
EEE occurs in a wide variety of songbirds, including the blue jay, chickadee, cardinal, tufted titmouse and catbird. Mosquitoes that inhabit marshes and wooded wetlands, named Culiseta melanura,transmit the virus from bird to bird and also to horses and people.
Horses get Eastern Equine Encephalitis when they are bitten by a mosquito carrying the EEE virus.