EEE Confirmed in Florida Donkey

The case marks the state’s 22nd equine confirmed in 2020.
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EEE Confirmed in Florida Equine
Mosquitoes that feed on EEE-infected birds can transmit the virus to humans, horses, and other birds. | Photo: iStock

On Nov. 25, officials at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) confirmed a donkey at a private facility in Orange County with Eastern equine encephalomyelitis (EEE). The 4-year-old presented with clinical signs, which included recumbency (down and unable to rise) on Nov 17. She had not been vaccinated and was euthanized.

The case is Florida’s 22nd confirmed case of EEE in an equine in 2020.

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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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.

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