Marion Co., Fla., Horse Tests Positive for EEE

The Florida Department of Health in Marion County announced yesterday (April 23) that a horse in the Sparr area tested positive for Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) infection.
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The Florida Department of Health in Marion County announced yesterday (April 23) that a horse in the Sparr area tested positive for Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) infection.

No further information on the affected horse's condition was immediately available.

A viral disease, EEE affects the central nervous system and is transmitted to horses by infected mosquitoes. Clinical signs of EEE include moderate to high fever, depression, lack of appetite, cranial nerve deficits (facial paralysis, tongue weakness, difficulty swallowing), behavioral changes (aggression, self-mutilation, or drowsiness), gait abnormalities, or severe central nervous system signs, such as head-pressing, circling, blindness, and seizures.

The course of EEE can be swift, with death occurring two to three days after onset of clinical signs despite intensive care; fatality rates reach 75-80% among horses. Horses that survive might have long-lasting impairments and neurologic problems

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Written by:

Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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