EEE Update! Case #6 Reported
Story Date: 8/25/2014

 Sixth EE Case in NC for 2014 Reported By NC Department of Agriculture Veterinary Division

A 6 year old Arab-mix mare in Pitt County has been confirmed EEE-positive by NVSL as the 6th case in NC for 2014.  Onset of clinical signs was 8/13/14 with the horse being euthanized on 8/14/14.  There was no history of vaccination. 

The mosquito-borne disease is preventable through vaccinations. 

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