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Encephalitis found in two area horses

POSTED: June 12, 2009 10:45 a.m.
Two horses in Long County have tested positive for the eastern equine encephalitis virus, according to the Coastal Health District.
The disease does not affect humans, though other encephalitis strains can.
The district is encouraging all horse owners in the area, including Bryan, Liberty and Long, to vaccinate their animals against EEE. Vaccinations protect horses against this potentially fatal virus.
EEE is a mosquito-borne virus that causes swelling of the brain. In horses, it is fatal 70-90 percent of the time. In 2008, there were at least 12 cases of EEE in animals in the state, including cases in two Coastal Health District counties.
“EEE can be fatal but there is a vaccine readily available. We strongly encourage horse owners to get their animals vaccinated to protect them from this disease,” said Robert Thornton, district epidemiologist. “Mosquitoes are more populous in the summer and there is a greater risk of animals being infected this time of year.”
For more information on EEE, go to For more information on obtaining the EEE vaccine, contact a veterinarian.

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