Six horses have tested positive for Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in Florida, raising the total to 18 confirmed cases in the state this year. From Osceola, Holmes, Suwannee and Washington counties, five of the newly diagnosed horses were euthanized and one is recovering, reports The Horse.
The six horses recently confirmed with EEE include an Arabian, a Rocky Mountain, two Quarter Horses, a Miniature Horse and a Warmblood; each of these horses had an unknown or no vaccination history.
EEE is a viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes that affects the central nervous system of horses. Horses with EEE can have a fever, be depressed, have no interest in food or show difficulty swallowing. Additionally, the horse may have behavior changes like aggression or drowsiness, or walk circles, press his head or become blind.
Fatality rates for EEE are between 75 and 80 percent, with death occurring two to three days after clinical signs come on. Horses that survive may have residual impairment.
EEE vaccinations are available and significantly reduce the risk of infection. Additionally, horse owners and caretakers should reduce mosquito populations as much as possible by removing standing water and applying insect repellent to equines.
Read more at The Horse.
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