Mosquito-borne disease kills horse

Published 8:43 pm Friday, August 10, 2018

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reported the first case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis this year was found in a horse in Suffolk.

The Quarter Horse mare was brought to the North Carolina State Veterinary school in late July before it died, and the hospital was alerted yesterday of the positive result for EEE.

The horse was vaccinated incompletely with an initial vaccination but not the follow-up shot. For full effectiveness, horses must be vaccinated initially with a follow-up booster, and then again every six to 12 months, according to the release.

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EEE is a mosquito-borne illness that has an 80 to 90 percent mortality rate in horses, and the diseases cause inflammation or swelling of the brain and spinal cord.

Suffolk reported Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile Virus were found in Suffolk in late June.

The city reported that horses in Suffolk are commonly found with EEE, but that there haven’t been any cases reported in humans currently or in years past. Eastern Equine Encephalitis is very rare in humans, with only five to 10 being affected annually.