Florida’s Ninth Equine EEE Case Confirmed for 2020

The Gilchrist County horse was euthanized after contracting Eastern equine encephalomyelitis.

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The Gilchrist County horse was euthanized after contracting Eastern equine encephalomyelitis. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

On July 11, officials at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) confirmed the state’s ninth equine case of Eastern equine encephalomyelitis (EEE) for 2020.

The affected horse, a yearling Standardbred filly from Gilchrist County whose vaccination status is unknown, began experiencing clinical signs of rapid neurologic deterioration on July 4. The horse was euthanized.

EEE 101

Eastern equine encephalomyelitis is caused by the Eastern equine encephalitis virus, for which wild birds are a natural reservoir. Mosquitoes that feed on EEE-infected birds can transmit the virus to humans, horses, and other birds. Horses do not develop high enough levels of these viruses in their blood to be contagious to other animals or humans. Because of the high mortality rate in horses and humans, EEE is regarded as one of the most serious mosquito-borne diseases in the United States

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