Eastern Equine Encephalitis confirmed in Ohio horse

Ohio

Miniature horses stand in a pasture at the Bissonette Farm in Hinesburg, Vt., Thursday, March 6, 2008. The farm has over 200 of the small scale horses which are used for breeding.(AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

ASHTABULA COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – A case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) has been confirmed in a horse in northeastern Ohio, the state veterinarian confirmed.

Dr. Tony Forshey confirmed the case in Ashtabula County and urged horse owners to contact their veterinarian to ensure the animal’s EEE vaccine and boosters are up to date.

“This is a serious disease and the most effective way to prevent your horses from getting EEE is to have the animals vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian,” Dr. Forshey said. “It is spread through mosquitoes and can also affect people, so taking steps to manage the mosquito population, such as eliminating standing water, will also help prevent EEE and other vector-borne viruses, like West Nile virus.”

The deadly disease affects the central nervous system and onset is abrupt. According to the Department of Agriculture, symptoms of EEE include unsteadiness, erratic behavior, a marked loss of coordination and seizures.

While the disease primarily affects horses, it can also infect humans and other animals, such as poultry and deer. The disease is very rare in humans.

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