New Jersey Confirms Its First Equine EEE Case

Officials recommend vaccinating livestock after detecting Eastern equine encephalomyelitis in Atlantic County mosquitoes.
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New Jersey Confirms Its First Equine EEE Case
A 4-year-old mare in Atlantic County, New Jersey, was humanely euthanized on Sept. 8 as a result of contracting Eastern equine encephalomyelitis (EEE). | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A 4-year-old mare in Atlantic County, New Jersey, was humanely euthanized on Sept. 8 as a result of contracting Eastern equine encephalomyelitis (EEE). The mare, which was unvaccinated, is the state’s first confirmed case of EEE for 2020.

New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA) officials released a statement advising livestock owners to vaccinate their animals against EEE, West Nile virus (WNV), and other mosquito-borne illnesses, stating that New Jersey’s first EEE-positive mosquito pool this year was detected in Atlantic County.

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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