The Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) has reported that another case of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) have been confirmed in a Florida horse.
“On July 15, a new EEE case was confirmed in Jackson County, Florida,” the EDCC statement said. “The 8-year-old mustang mare had no known vaccine history and no recent travel history. Clinical signs began on July 6 and the horse was euthanized for humane reasons the following day.”
This is the first confirmed EEE case in Jackson County and the twelfth confirmed case in Florida for 2016.
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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Horse owners should also consult their private practicing veterinarian to determine an appropriate disease prevention plan for their horses. Vaccines have proven to be a very effective prevention tool. Horses that have been vaccinated in past years will need an annual booster shot. However