Horse In Del. Euthanized After Contracting EEE - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Horse In Del. Euthanized After Contracting EEE

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SUSSEX CO., Del. - Another case of the deadly mosquito born virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis has been discovered in a horse on The Shore, this time in Sussex County.

While 2 horses have been diagnosed with West Nile virus this year, this is the first case of "Triple E" in Delaware since 2005.  A problem that goes back to higher than normal rainfall earlier this summer. 

The horse was reported to the department of Agriculture by a veterinarian in what the department is referring to as "Lower Central Sussex County."

A representative with DNREC tells us the infected horse was found near Frankford and Dagsboro Delaware.

Despite receiving medical attention, the horse reportedly didn't improve and had to be has been put down, and sentinel chicken in Frankford also tested positive for the same virus.

Earlier in the summer in Maryland, a horse in Worcester county was also killed by the disease.

While it can be deadly, health officials remind folks Eastern Equine Encephalitis is strictly a mosquito borne disease, and cannot be passed between horses and people, or person to person.

"The scientists would call humans and horses "dead end hosts" which means that once we become infected or once horses become infected, it doesn't replicate enough to become infective," Dr. Heather Hirst, State Veterinarian for Delaware's Department of Agriculture.

Despite these cases of Triple E and West Nile animal health officials in Delaware don't want to incite panic, "I don't have a concern that we're going to see an outbreak in either of these viruses in horses.  Because people are very responsible about vaccinating their animals," says Dr. Hirst.

DNREC was out spraying Thursday night in the area of Sussex County where the most recent case of EEE was found.

With more mosquitoes this year, due to the heavy rainfall earlier in the summer, DNREC stresses that people get their horses vaccinated, and keep them in-doors at dusk and dawn, when mosquitos are most commonly out.

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