On Wednesday, July 11, 2018, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services confirmed Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in a 13-year old, unvaccinated, female chestnut draft mix located in Onslow County, North Carolina. This is the second case of EEE in North Carolina for 2018.
This follows reports of a EEE case in Richmond County last week.
EEE is a mosquito-transmitted disease that is much more severe than West Nile Virus (WNV). The mortality rate in horses from WNV is reported at around 30%, while the rate for EEE is almost 90%. Infected mosquitoes are the primary source for EEE.
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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