The horse was a young animal – a yearling filly – that had various signs of EEE and was exhibiting severe neurological symptoms. She was under veterinary care and was euthanized even before the positive test results came back.
This positive test has important implications for the State of Delaware since, according to officials in the Department of Agriculture, the state’s last case of eastern equine encephalitis was documented in 2005.
Mosquitoes spread infected virus by taking blood meals from birds and from horses. If they bite with the infection in their systems, they will transfer it to their next victims. That might be a horse or it might also be a human. It is important to note that when a horse in a specific location contracts EEE, it is a sure sign that humans are also as risk and all precautions should be taken not to get bit.
Remember, EEE is a mosquito-borne disease. State veterinarian Dr. Heather Hirst is urging Delaware horse owners to get their horses vaccinated against both EEE and West Nile.
And one really important fact found just recently in Maine EEE case – even if you have had your horse vaccinated just over on year ago, give that horse a booster shot to provide optimum protection. I reported on the Maine horse’s death in this article: Maine horse euthanized due to EEE
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