Onslow County horse believed to have Eastern Equine Encephalitis; humans at risk

Published: Oct. 13, 2017 at 12:28 PM EDT
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The Health Director for Onslow County is asking residents to be on their guard after a horse is believed to have contracted Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

EEE can be transmitted through the bite of a mosquito and can infect both horses and humans, according to Health Director Angela Lee.

Some people infected with EEE have no symptoms. However, those who do develop symptoms may have fever and joint or muscle pain.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those with a severe form of the disease will have “sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting. The illness may then progress into disorientation, seizures, and coma.”

The diagnosis for the horse is presumptive because it is based on the pony’s clinical symptoms and a preliminary test that shows the pony had recently been exposed to the EEE virus.

Although there is no vaccine for humans, there is one for horses, so owners should have their animals immunized. Owners should check with their veterinarian to determine the best vaccination schedule for their horses.