New Case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis Confirmed in New York Horse

Newsdate: Mon 20 September 2015 – 8:34 am
Location: GALEN, New York

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.

A horse with Eastern equine encephalitis symptoms

A horse with Eastern equine encephalitis symptoms

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.

Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Sleepy appearance
  • Muscle twitches in head, neck, shoulder and flanks
  • Staggering gait
  • Recumbency

Causes

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.

About the Author

Flossie Sellers

As an animal lover since childhood, Flossie was delighted when Mark, the CEO and developer of EquiMed asked her to join his team of contributors.

She enrolled in My Horse University at Michigan State and completed a number of courses in everything related to horse health, nutrition, diseases and conditions, medications, hoof and dental care, barn safety, and first aid.

Staying  up-to-date on the latest developments in horse care and equine health is now a habit, and she enjoys sharing a wealth of information with horse owners everywhere..

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