Florida reports 5th case of equine encephalitis…

To UNITED STATESthe agriculture and consumer services department of Florida reported confirmation of a eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in a 1-year-old foal in the Levy County. On June 16, the unvaccinated horse presented with paralysis accompanied by nystagmus (involuntary and jerky oscillation of the eyeball). EEE was confirmed on June 23 and the horse was euthanized. This is the 5th confirmed case of EEE in Florida in 2022.

Reminders oneastern equine encephalitis :

The viruseastern equine encephalitis (EEEV) is a Alphavirus of the family of Togaviridae. In nature, the alternation of infections in birds and mosquitoes maintains the circulation of the virus. The virus is hosted by birds and is transmitted to equines (horses, donkeys and zebras), more rarely to humans, by the bite of an infected mosquito.

  • The clinical signs of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in horses may be consistent with other neurological diseases such as rabies and Equine Herpes virus (EHV-1) infection, so it is important for horse owners consult a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis. In horses EEEV takes two to five days to cause symptoms and has a 90% mortality rate. The virus causes stumbling and poor coordination, inability to get up, paralysis, pressure on the head, circles and convulsions.
  • According to Centers for Diseases Control and Prévention the disease is rare in humans, with only a few cases reported in the United States each year. In humans, symptoms of EEE disease often appear 4 to 10 days after a person has been bitten by an infected mosquito. While most infected people have no apparent disease, severe cases involving encephalitis are nevertheless reported with a mortality rate of 30%. The risk of brain damage is significant in survivors.

The traveler must reduce the risk of being infected by this virus by applying the rules of personal vector protection which will limit the risk of mosquito bites:

  • wearing protective clothing impregnated with insecticides,
  • use of repellents based on DEET, Picaridin or IR 3535 on uncovered parts at times when mosquitoes are most active (mosquitoes generally bite at dusk and dawn).

In animals, the most effective prevention is vaccination.

Source : Outbreak News Today.

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