Sussex County Horse Tests Positive For EEE - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Sussex County Horse Tests Positive For EEE

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SUSSEX CO., Del. - According to the Delaware Department of Agriculture, a horse in Sussex County, has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

The horse who was under the care of a veterinarian, was reportedly showing signs of severe neurologic disease, and was humanely euthanized after showing no signs of improvement.

This is the third horse in Delaware this year to be diagnosed with a mosquito-borne disease. Two horses have previously been diagnosed with West Nile Virus, and both have recovered. EEE was recently detected in a sentinel chicken flock in Sussex County.

Prior to 2013, Delaware's last confirmed equine case of WNV was in 2003, and the last case of equine EEE was in 2005.

The Department says that vaccinating horses against mosquito-borne diseases including, both West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis, is important, and urge owners to do so.

Both humans and horses can contract WNV and EEE if bitten by a mosquito, but the viruses can not be passed from horse to person, or vise versa. Officials say both WNV and EEE can be fatal.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control suggests disposing of standing water on property, to reduce mosquito breeding.

For more information:

• Mosquito biology/ecology and control - Contact the Mosquito Control Section's Dover office at 302-739-9917.

• WNV in humans and related medical issues - Contact the Delaware Division of Public Health at 888-295-5156.

• WNV or EEE in horses and equine vaccines - Contact the Department of Agriculture's Poultry and Animal Health Section at 302-698-4500 or 800-282-8685 (Delaware only).

• West Nile virus - visit the CDC website

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