OHIO – The Ohio Department of Agriculture announced Thursday that State Veterinarian, Dr. Tony Forshey, has confirmed a case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE or Triple E) in a horse in Northeast Ohio. The horse was from Ashtabula County.
The department is urging horse owners to contact their own veterinarians to ensure their horses are up to date on EEE vaccines and boosters.
“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,” said Dr. Forshey. “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 virus responsible for the disease is transmitted by mosquitoes and attacks the animal’s nervous system. It is abrupt and usually fatal in horses. Symptoms include unsteadiness, erratic behavior, a marked loss of coordination and seizures. Horses are particularly susceptible but the virus can also cause serious illness in people as well as other animals such as poultry and deer.
In addition this disease can also be transmitted to humans, the arrival of it in Ohio should also show a sign that people need to take extra steps for safety. Use of protective insect repellant and protective clothing are suggested.
There are currently no confirmed cases of the disease in humans in Ohio and no confirmed cases in horses in Northwest Ohio.
Anyone who suspected their horse may have contracted the disease should contact their veterinarian and anyone who suspects they might be ill should contact their physician. More on the disease click here:https://www.cdc.gov/EasternEquineEncephalitis/gen/qa.html?sfns=mo