The Dangers of Eastern Equine Encephalitis Are Real, No Horsin’ Around

Author: Mosquito Squad of Chelmsford & Cambridge

Keep your horses happy and healthy with protection from potentially deadly mosquitoes.

Spring is here. With the arrival of spring comes the need for spring cleaning. This includes sprucing up your home and getting organized, and for horse owners, this also includes getting the barn, paddocks, and horses ready for the warm weather. One important part of spring cleaning with the equine set includes taking care of your horses’ mosquito control for the season.

The Dangers of Eastern Equine Encephalitis 

The dangers mosquitoes pose to humans, as well as our equine friends, are real. Among the many mosquito-borne diseases that horses and people can contract from mosquitoes is EEE, (Eastern Equine Encephalitis).

EEE is a viral disease which is transmitted to mosquitoes through feeding off birds infected with the virus. The disease is then transmitted to other mammals through the bite of those mosquitoes infected with the virus. Horses and people are considered a “dead-end host”, which means once infected horses cannot infect other horses or people. The same goes for people who become infected with EEE. We cannot transmit the disease once infected. The disease is quite serious, and in some cases fatal. Last year a four-year-old child died from the disease in Oswego County, New York. This disease also claimed the lives of numerous horses last season and is getting too close for comfort for many North Shore residents, and horse owners.

Symptoms of Eastern Equine Encephalitis

The danger is real, and even though there is a vaccine for horses, there is no vaccine as of yet for humans. There is no treatment for the active disease itself in either. Symptoms of EEE  in equine, including horses, ponies, donkeys, and mules include a loss of coordination, a staggering gait, confusion, and refusal to eat or take water. These symptoms become evident 4 to 10 days after the onset of infection. Later stages of the disease can include seizures and in 48-72 hours usually death.  Symptoms in humans include mild flu-like symptoms to sore throat and severe headache. In some people, there are no symptoms at all until the disease progresses to affect the central nervous system which can lead to seizures, coma, and even death.

The best way to avoid you or your horse getting the disease is to practice safe mosquito practices around the house and the barn. This includes keeping debris and brush cut and cleaned up. Avoid standing water, and refill your horse's water trough regularly. Using a mosquito misting system or having your property and barn sprayed by a licensed mosquito control professional will reduce your chances of infection and keep you and your horses healthy and happy. Mosquito Squad of the North Shore offers a barrier spray that is highly effective in preventing mosquitoes all season long as part of our barrier spray program. The areas are sprayed regularly throughout the season at scheduled times. The product we use is safe for use around people, horses, and domestic animals. Our automatic misting systems are a must for barns because they emit a timed automatic spray of mosquito control regularly. Along with your grain and hay supply, and tack, our mosquito misting systems have become a must-have in the barn for the ultimate mosquito protection-and we’re not horsin’ around.

Contact Mosquito Squad of the North Shore today to learn more about protecting yourself and your entire family, including the ones in the barn.