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Horse Tests Positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis
July 25, 2017
Baton Rouge, LA (July 25, 2017) – An unvaccinated horse in Iberville Parish tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., is reminding horse owners to vaccinate their animals for both Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and the West Nile Virus (WNV).
“This is the time of year mosquitoes are more prevalent. Horses are infected the same way humans are infected – by being bitten by infected mosquitoes – so everyone needs to take extra precautionary measures at this time,” said Strain.
If a mosquito bites an infected bird, EEE or WNV can be spread to horses, dogs, cats and humans. These mosquito-transmitted diseases can cause inflammation or swelling of the brain and spinal cord.
Clinical signs can include: fever, loss of appetite, weakness and loss of coordination.
The disease can often result in death.
Prevention includes removing standing water where mosquitos breed and using mosquito repellants that are safe for horses and humans. Horses can also be vaccinated. So far, there is no vaccination approved for people. Horse owners should contact their local veterinarian regarding proper vaccination protocols during this time of increased risk.
Veterinarians are required to call the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry if they suspect EEE or WNV in a horse as they are reportable diseases.