South Carolina's First Equine Case of EEE in 2018 Confirmed
EEE and Vaccination Update
EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALOMYELITIS
by Rebekah Brady DVM
Eastern equine encephalomyelitis is a neurologic disease that can be caused by a blood borne virus. The virus causes swelling of the brain which leads to progressive neurologic deficits and even death in a period of a few days. Treatment for this disease is rarely successful but vaccination is highly effective in preventing the development of clinical disease.
What is your horse’s vaccination status?
Booster vaccinations are recommended every 6 months in regions with a high risk of exposure due to long periods of temperate weather with prevalent mosquito populations.
HOW DO THEY GET IT?
The equine encephalomyelitis virus has 3 predominant forms Eastern, Western, and Venezuelan (EEE, WEE, and VEE respectively). The virus can be transferred to horses and sometimes humans via mosquito bite. It is not passed directly from horse to horse or from horse to human. The EEE form is the most virulent (infects the highest number of horses) and is responsible for the growing number of cases seen recently in our area. In the last couple of years, there have been 10 confirmed EEE cases.
If you are unsure of your horse’s vaccination status or would like to set up an appointment, please call our office.