South Carolina has reported an additional case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in a horse, the 12th case of 2016. The state veterinarian received the report on the most recent case out of Florence County on Friday.
The case was an unvaccinated, 5 month old Paint. The colt did not survive. This is the first confirmed case in Florence County this year.
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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