You don’t have to own a horse for the horse culture to affect your life in Louisville. Being the home of the Kentucky Derby affects our economy, it affects our tourism, it affects practically every person here in one way or another even if they never touch a horse. Therefore anything that can bring harm to our horses is something we want to monitor closely, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is something we want to keep out of Louisville.
What is EEE?
Eastern equine encephalitis is a virus transmitted to humans and horses by the bite of an infected mosquito. The CDC considers it to be one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne illness in the United States.
EEE in Humans
There are two types of EEE in humans: Systemic – which comes with fever, chills, and malaise, will last 1 to 2 weeks, and most can expect full recovery. Encephalitic (which involves swelling of the brain) – is accompanied by a fever, headache, irritability, restlessness, drowsiness, stomach issues, convulsions, and coma. Although EEE in humans is rare, approximately one-third that contract EEE will die. Those that survive may be left with severe brain dysfunction. There is no human vaccine or specific treatment of EEE, only treatment of symptoms.
EEE in Horses
EEE in horses is not prevalent in Kentucky. The last noted cases were in 2013. Both horses died. The American Association of Equine Practitioners suggests the vaccine for EEE on its list of core vaccinations for horses.The vaccine is recommended once or twice a year depending on the part of the country you live in. Neither of the horses in 2013 had been vaccinated. The death rate for horses that contract EEE is 75-100%.
The signs of EEE in a horse begin with aggression and excitability, even frenzied behavior. Then they become more severe including brain dysfunction, head pressing, blindness, circling, even complete paralysis.
Keep Your Family and Animals Protected
Prevention is our best protection against mosquito-borne illness. And in this very important case we must protect our horses too. Make sure you get your animals vaccinated, put your horses out when mosquitoes are less active, use fans in your stables, cover your horses with fly sheets, remove standing water near stables, and keep lights off inside or near stables after dark. For your home and family follow the 5Ts of mosquito control in your own yard.
At Mosquito Squad of Louisville, our barrier sprays will continue to help with your quest for prevention by eliminating 85-90% of mosquitoes in your yard. And if you are one of the many horse owners in Kentucky, whether it’s simply a family pet or an investment, our automatic mosquito misting systems will keep your larger area constantly protected. Call us today!