Two horses are dead after the state's first cases of Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis surfaced in Eastern Carolina.
EEE is a disease carried by mosquitoes that is preventable in horses through vaccination.
The state says the unvaccinated horses, an 18-month old Paint from Carteret County and a 3-year-old Quarter horse from Bladen County, showed general weakness, stumbling, depression and the inability to stand or eat. The Carteret County horse was put down on July 21st, while the other horse died on Saturday.
Last year, state officials reported 15 EEE cases in horses.
The state says horse owners should keep their animals in stalls at night, using insect screens and fans, along with turning off lights after dusk to help reduce exposure to mosquitoes.
There is no evidence that infected horses can transmit EEE to other horses, birds or people through direct contact.