Maryland health officials shared the news last Thursday that a horse in Worcester County, Maryland has been diagnosed with Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). Local authorities are urging horse owners to speak with their veterinarians about the risk of EEE and vaccinations that can prevent the disease.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis has not been common in our state. The last confirmed human case of EEE was back in 1989, while the last confirmed case in a Maryland horse was in 2009.
EEE is a mosquito-borne disease which can cause swelling of the brain. The disease occurs more often in horses but can occur in humans. Symptoms of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in humans include: fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, mental confusion, muscle aches, joint pain and sometimes seizure and coma. Symptoms usually present themselves 4-10 days after a bite from an infected mosquito. Unfortunately there is currently neither a standard treatment nor a vaccine available for use in humans infected with EEE virus.
In horses, EEE is a dangerous disease that can be fatal. It is a good idea to take preventative measures and vaccinate against EEE, as studies have shown that well-vaccinated horses are generally safe from contracting EEE. Horses that become infected with Eastern Equine Encephalitis display gradual symptoms after 2-3 days following the bite from an infected mosquito. Symptoms include: depression, altered mental status, circling, problems with balance, weakness, aimless wandering, impaired vision, walking abnormalities, head pressing, paralysis, convulsions and even death. Horses that survive serious disease often have permanent damage to their nervous system.
For more information about this recent outbreak of EEE in Maryland, check out this Washington Post article.
Mosquito Squad can help you keep mosquitoes off your property, as well as protect you and your animals from the dangers of mosquito-borne diseases like EEE and West Nile Virus.
Mosquito Squad of Howard County & Montgomery County is a locally-owned niche pest-control company that helps you take back your backyard and enjoy your outdoor living space! We offer solutions to rid your property of mosquitoes, stink bugs and ticks, including our barrier spray service, automatic misting systems, and special event sprays. Call us at 301-926-3001 to get a quote and find out how you can enjoy the outdoors and protect your family, pets and farm animals from mosquitoes, ticks and diseases like EEE, West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease.