The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reported a confirmed Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) case in 20-year-old mare from Okaloosa County.
The horse presented with symptoms of depression, elevated temperature, head pressing, incoordination and muscle twitching in late July and later died. The animal is noted as being undervaccinated.
This is the 13th confirmed case of EEE for Florida in 2021.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is spread to horses and humans by infected mosquitoes, including several Culex species and Culiseta melanura.
In horses, the virus causes inflammation or swelling of the brain and spinal cord. General symptoms include central nervous system signs such as: head pressing, convulsions, lack of response to facial stimulation, fever above 103 degrees, ataxia, paralysis, anorexia, depression and stupor. Other symptoms may include irregular gait, teeth grinding, in-coordination, circling, and staggering. All symptoms may not be exhibited by an infected horse.
The mortality rate in horses from EEE is almost 90%.