The First 2020 Case of EEE Has Been Confirmed in a Horse in Marion County
Clemson University Livestock Poultry Health has announced that a 15-month-old Tennessee Walking Horse stallion has been euthanized after contracting Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and not having the proper vaccinations. There are highly effective vaccinations available for EEE and West Nile Virus for horses, and it is crucial that they are put to use. Sean Eastman, a veterinarian, and LPH Animal Health Programs field services director says that the mortality rate for horses infected with EEE is 90 percent, and for West Nile, there is a 30-40 percent mortality rate. There is really no excuse for not using the tools that are available to keep your animals healthy.
EEE is carried by wild birds. Mosquitoes feed on these birds and then pass the disease along to horses. Humans can encounter these same mosquitoes. Unfortunately, there is no such vaccine for humans. Nor cure. Almost a third of all people that contract EEE die and many of the survivors carry log lasting neurologic issues. Therefore mosquito management and control are extremely important right now. We had a mild winter and a wet spring. Those conditions always lead to a large mosquito population throughout the summer. This first case of EEE, though a rare disease, is likely just the beginning of what will be a challenging season when it comes to mosquito control and mosquito-borne illnesses.