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Horses at Risk for EEE Virus

Published: Friday, September 11, 2020

A case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) was found recently in a LaGrange County horse, according to Elkhart County Extension educator Jeff Burbrink.

In October 2019, 32,000 acres in Elkhart County were sprayed to prevent the mosquito-borne disease from spreading. One Elkhart County resident died.

Burbrink says there is no reason to panic. However, he advises people to take steps to prevent mosquito bites. This includes spraying repellents and wearing long sleeves and long pants in heavily infested areas or when outside in the evenings.

Horse owners should make sure their animals vaccinated. The vaccine is an annual shot, so it will need to be updated.

According to Burbrink, EEE has a 90 percent fatality rate in horses, 33 percent in people.

EEE usually occurs in late summer or early fall. In Michigan, 10 cases have been reported in horses so far this year.

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