Eastern Equine Encephalitis reported in Polk County horse

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reported a confirmed Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) case in a one-year-old Quarter horse in Polk County.


The horse, which was vaccinated 1 year prior to the illness, died.

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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