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EEE, WNV case confirmed in St. James Parish

July 13, 2010

Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile virus was found in a three-year-old mare in St. James Parish on July 12.
Strain said the Louisiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Baton Rouge confirmed EEE and West Nile virus in the horse. The horse was euthanized.
“Eastern equine encephalitis and West Nile virus are very preventable diseases,” Strain said. “All horse owners should keep their equine vaccinations up to date and consult a veterinarian if their animals are displaying any unusual neurological symptoms.”
Strain said horse owners, at a minimum, should vaccinate against tetanus, EEE, Western equine encephalitis, West Nile virus and rabies.
These maladies affect the brain and symptoms could include depression, lack of coordination, walking in circles, facial twitching and other neurologic anomalies. An infected horse eventually collapses to the ground.
Equine owners with horses displaying any of these symptoms should contact their local veterinarian. Veterinarians should also report all suspected equine encephalitic cases to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s Veterinary Health Office.
The LDAF is working with local veterinarians, horse owner groups, health officials and local mosquito abatement programs to monitor the spread of the mosquito-borne diseases.