Michigan Horse Tests Positive for EEE

The Livingston County horse had been vaccinated in March of this year.
Share
Favorite
Please login

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

Michigan Horse Tests Positive for EEE
The Livingston County horse had been vaccinated in March of this year. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) officials confirmed a Livingston County horse with Eastern equine encephalomyelitis (EEE) on Sept. 30. The 11-year-old Standardbred gelding, which had been vaccinated in March 2020, began showing clinical signs on Sept. 21. Signs consisted of fever, depression, ataxia (loss of muscle control), and head tilt.

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.

Tips for preventing mosquito-borne diseases include:

  • Avoid mosquito bites: Use insect repellent when outdoors, especially from dusk to dawn.
  • Look for EPA-labeled products containing active ingredients such as DEET, picaridin (KBR3023), or oil of lemon eucalyptus (p-menthane 3,8-diol).
  • Apply more repellent, according to label instructions, if mosquitoes start to bite.
  • Mosquito-proof homes: Fix or install window and door screens, and cover or eliminate empty containers with standing water where mosquitoes can lay eggs.
  • Protect your horses: Veterinarians recommend commercially available licensed vaccines against EEE for all horses in the U.S. Horses should be vaccinated at least annually (recommendations vary in high-risk areas). It’s not too late this year to vaccinate your horses.
  • Use approved insect repellents to protect horses.
  • If possible, put horses in stables, stalls, or barns during the prime mosquito exposure hours of dusk and dawn.
  • Eliminate standing water, drain water troughs, and empty buckets at least weekly.
  • Stock water tanks with fish that consume mosquito larvae (contact your local mosquito control for assistance), or use mosquito “dunks” (solid “donuts” of Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, which are nontoxic to horses) available at hardware stores

    Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

    TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

    Start your free account today!

    Already have an account?
    and continue reading.

Share

Written by:

Diane Rice earned her bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism from the University of Wisconsin, then married her education with her lifelong passion for horses by working in editorial positions at Appaloosa Journal for 12 years. She has also served on the American Horse Publications’ board of directors. She now freelances in writing, editing, and proofreading. She lives in Middleton, Idaho, and spends her spare time gardening, reading, serving in her church, and spending time with her daughters, their families, and a myriad of her own and other people’s pets.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

How do you prevent gastric ulcers in horses? Please check all that apply.
159 votes · 373 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!