North Carolina Reports Second EEE Case of 2018

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services confirmed a 13-year old unvaccinated Draft-cross mare from Onslow County was positive for EEE on July 11.
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eee in north carolina horse
A viral disease, EEE affects the central nervous system and is transmitted to horses by infected mosquitoes. | Photo: iStock

A second North Carolina horse has tested positive for Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) reported July 11.

“On Wednesday, July 11, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services confirmed … EEE in a 13-year old unvaccinated female chestnut draft mix located in Onslow County,” the EDCC said. “This is the second case of EEE in North Carolina for 2018.”

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. Once a horse has been bitten by an infected mosquito, it can take three to 10 days for clinical signs to develop

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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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