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Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is a mosquito-borne viral disease that primarily affects horses. The disease, also called "sleeping sickness,” causes inflammation or swelling of the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms include impaired vision, aimless wandering, head pressing, circling, inability to swallow, irregular staggering gait, paralysis, convulsions and death. Once a horse has been bitten by an infected mosquito, it may take three to 10 days for signs of the disease to appear.

Prevention is a key part of equine health. The disease is preventable by vaccination, as is West Nile Virus, so many veterinarians recommend vaccination at least yearly, and in mosquito-prone areas, every six months. Control the population of mosquitoes on your property by eliminating watery breeding sites.

Information & Resources

Updates from the State Veterinarian’s Office

July 12, 2016
Second Case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in a Virginia Horse this Year
Disease has a 80 to 90 percent mortality so prevention is key

June 30, 2016
First Case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in a Horse for 2016

May 23, 2016
Control Mosquitos to Protect Horses and People

May 16, 2016
As Picnic Season Begins, Protect Yourself from Foodborne Illness and Mosquitoes

March 22, 2016
It Makes Sense to Vaccinate Most Horses Now
State Veterinarian’s Office Urges Horse Owners to Check with Their Veterinarians Now Regarding Vaccination Schedule

Click here for Division of Animal and Food Industry Services contact information.

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