By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) was notified of a confirmed case of eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in a 26-year-old horse located in the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.


The unvaccinated horse presented with mild muscle fasciculations, recumbency and somnolence and is currently recovering.

This is the first EEE case in Ontario 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.