The Florida Department Agriculture and Consumer Services reports a case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in a nine-year-old quarter horse mare in Baker County.
The horse presented with fever and non ambulatory lateral recumbency on May 5. EEE was confirmed on May 12. The animal was euthanized.
This is the 5th confirmed case of EEE in Florida in 2023, the other cases were reported in Lake County (1-January), St. John’s County (1-February) and Polk County (2-both in April).
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is spread to horses and humans by infected mosquitoes, including several Culex species and Culiseta melanura.
EEE is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the U.S. with a 90 percent fatality rate among horses that become ill and a 33 percent fatality rate among humans who become ill.
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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.
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