The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) confirms that a fourth horse from Isle of Wight County has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).


The case happened in a young, unvaccinated weanling who showed clinical symptoms of ataxia, drowsiness and hyperesthetic. The animal is alive.

VDACS encourages horse owners to speak with their veterinarians about vaccinating their horses for West Nile Virus (WNV) and EEE. The mortality rate for WNV is 30 percent and up to 90 percent for EEE. Vaccinations are effective for six to 12 months.

EEE is a mosquito-borne illness that causes inflammation or swelling of the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms include impaired vision, aimless wandering, head pressing, circling, inability to swallow, irregular staggering gait, paralysis, convulsions and death. Once a horse has been bitten by an infected mosquito, it may take three to ten days for signs of the disease to appear.

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