As of September 20, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) has identified two cases of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE).
On September 16, Michigan’s second case of EEE was identified in a 12-year-old, Quarter Horse mare in Menominee County. The horse had a fever, was not eating or drinking, and was leaning against walls. The unvaccinated mare later died.
On September 15, 2016, MDARD was notified that a four month old Standardbred filly in Clare County tested positive for EEE. The filly had developed a sudden fever, was staggering and eventually unable to rise. The filly died. The filly and its mother were not vaccinated against EEE.
Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis, also known as “sleeping sickness,” is caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. Horses, people, birds, and a variety of small mammals can contract this disease from a mosquito bite. Mosquitoes spread the virus among wild birds. These birds serve as a reservoir of infection for other animals and mosquitoes act as the transmission vector to horses and people. The disease is not spread from horse to horse or from a horse to a human.