Seventeen states have reported 140 cases of Eastern equine encephalitis so far this season.
-- Seventeen states have reported 140 cases of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) so far this season, based on the latest tally from the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and some individual state reports.
Most cases on the list provided by APHIS’ National Animal Health Surveillance System (NAHSS), last updated on Aug. 11, were in southern states, led by Florida, with 48 cases.
Georgia had 29 cases, Mississippi 21, North Carolina eight, Alabama six, Texas three and South Carolina two. Virginia had six cases, Maine two and Minnesota one.
EEE, transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito, is most active in August and September. In 2008, 185 EEE cases in horses were reported, with Florida in the lead with 89 cases.
Horses are considered a “dead-end” host for the virus, in that the amount of the virus in their bloodstream usually is insufficient to infect mosquitoes. Humans can be infected directly through mosquito bites.
Veterinarians urge owners to have horses inoculated against EEE and other mosquito-borne infections, including West Nile virus (WNV).