Third Case of Deadly EEE in NC Reported
by Claire Holley on 8/13/2014

 Third Case of Deadly EEE in NC Reported

An 11 year old Quarter horse gelding from New Hanover County has become the 3rd EEE positive case in NC for 2014.  The horse developed clinical signs on Tuesday, 8/5/14 and was euthanized that night.  There was no history of vaccination. 

The previous two cases reported were in Carteret and Bladen county, respectively, with neither horse having a history of vaccination. 

EEE causes inflammation or swelling of the brain and spinal cord and is usually fatal. Symptoms include impaired vision, aimless wandering, head pressing, circling, inability to swallow, irregular staggering gait, paralysis, convulsions and death. Once a horse has been bitten by an infected mosquito, it may take three to 10 days for signs of the disease to appear. 

Equine owners should discuss with their veterinarians an effective vaccination protocol to protect horses from EEE and another mosquito-borne disease, West Nile virus. The vaccinations initially require two shots, 30 days apart, for horses, mules and donkeys that have no prior vaccination history. A booster shot is recommended every six months.

Mosquitoes can breed in any puddle that lasts for more than four days, so removing any source of standing water can reduce the chance of exposing animals to WNV or EEE. Keeping horses in stalls at night, using insect screens and fans and turning off lights after dusk can also help reduce exposure to mosquitoes. Insect repellants can be effective if used according to manufacturers' instructions.

People, horses and birds can become infected from a bite by a mosquito carrying the diseases, but there is no evidence that horses can transmit the viruses to other horses, birds or people through direct contact.


NC Veterinary Medical Association
1611 Jones Franklin Road, Suite 108
Raleigh, NC 27606-3376
Tel: (919) 851-5850
Fax: (919) 851-5859