Monday, August 29, 2016

Gloucester County horse contracts eastern equine encephalitis

A 8-year-old Morris County mare is the first reported case in 2016 of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a serious, mosquito-borne illness in horses. The horse had not been vaccinated against EEE and was humanely euthanized on August 13.

EEE causes inflammation of the brain tissue and has a significantly higher risk of death in horses than West Nile Virus infection. West Nile virus is a viral disease that affects horses’ neurological systems. The disease is transmitted by mosquito bite. The virus cycles between birds and mosquitoes with horses and humans being incidental hosts. EEE infections in horses are not a significant risk factor for human infection because horses (like humans) are considered to be “dead-end” hosts for the virus.

In 2015, New Jersey had one case of EEE and one case of West Nile Virus.

For more information, visit the New Jersey Department of Agriculture web site at: http://www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/ah/diseases/diseaseworksheets.html.

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