First Virginia case of EEE in 2015 detected in Chesapeake horse

Posted at 1:00 PM, Jul 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-30 17:38:00-04

Chesapeake, Va. - The Chesapeake Health Department says a 12-year-old horse that recently died tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

The horse was located off West Landing Drive in southwestern Chesapeake.

Only one pool of mosquitoes in Chesapeake has tested positive for EEE this year. However, the death of the horse indicated that the mosquitoes are likely biting infected birds before biting other mammals.

Citizens should be aware of this and take precautions to protect themselves.

Horse owners should make sure their animals are vaccinated. Almost all unvaccinated horses that contract the disease die.

There is no vaccine for EEE in humans. Cases are rare in humans but they can be deadly. It may kill up to 50 percent of people who catch it. Symptoms range from flu-like illness to enchaphalitis, coma and death.

1) Use mosquito repellent.
2) Wear long sleeves and long slacks.
3) Avoid the outdoors in the early evening when mosquitoes are most rampant.
4) Eliminate standing water outside where mosquitoes can breed; empty containers; bag empty bottles and cans; clean gutters and bird baths; remove discarded appliances; cover boats so they do not hold water; remove old automobile tires; and trim vegetation that provides mosquito hiding places.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Chesapeake Health Department, 757-382-8642.