Three Louisiana Horses Test Positive for EEE

The state’s agriculture commissioner stresses the importance of owners vaccinating their horses.
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Three Louisiana Horses Test Positive for EEE
The state’s agriculture commissioner stresses the importance of owners vaccinating their horses. | Photo: The Horse Staff
In a Sept. 15 statement, officials at the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) confirmed three Louisiana horses with Eastern equine encephalomyelitis (EEE). The horses reside in Iberville (1) and Lafourche (2) parishes.

In the statement, LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain stressed the importance of owners vaccinating their horses. “The hot and wet conditions exacerbated by storms such as Hurricane Laura increase the number of mosquitoes that could be carrying diseases,” he said. “Like humans, horses are infected by being bitten by mosquitoes.”

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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