Multiple Equine Encephalitis Virus Detections

To United Statesthe viruseastern equine encephalitis (EEE) has been isolated from horses and birds in several States:

  • In the Delaware the virus was detected for the 1st time for 2022 in a sentinel chicken in the north of the New Castle County, according to an August 12, 2022 announcement from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). No human cases were detected in 2022 in the state.
  • In L’New York Statethis is a horse that was confirmed positive in the Jefferson County (news n°19726 of September 3, 2022). Previously according to ministry officials, an unvaccinated horse died of EEE on August 30 in the city of Mexico City.
  • In the Michiganon September 2, 2022, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MDARD) reported the first case of EEE in the state for 2022 in an unvaccinated 3-year-old Standardbred filly in the St. Joseph’s County.

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.

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 Prevention 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: ProMED.

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