Volusia County horse dually infected with EEE and West Nile virus

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reported earlier this week a 5-year-old horse from Volusia County was dually infected with Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile virus (WNV).

Image/aloiswohlfahrt

The gelding is alive. The horse suffered from depression, fever and incoordination.

This is the 21st confirmed case of EEE and 5th confirmed case of WNV for Florida in 2021.

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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