Ag News

EEE detected in horses in two South Georgia Counties

by Georgia farm Bureau

Posted on Jul 26, 2023 at 0:00 AM

By Jay Stone, Georgia Farm Bureau

The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) has confirmed a case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in Cook County and two others in Charlton County. The GDA reported its findings to the Equine Disease Communications Center.

EEE was detected in a deceased quarter horse in Cook County in June and reported to  on July 7. The two cases in Charlton County were reported on July 20 and July 24.

Entomologists Dr. Nancy Hinkle with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences and Dr. Rosmarie Kelly with the Georgia Department of Public Health are urging horse owners to get their horses vaccinated for EEE and West Nile Virus. Kelly recommends that steps be taken for personal protection when outdoors, including using an EPA-registered repellent and dressing appropriately for the weather in lightweight long sleeves and long pants. Dumping out or treating standing water with larvicide will help prevent mosquito populations from developing.

EEE is also known as sleeping sickness. It is a viral disease for which there is no cure. EEE causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. It is transmitted by mosquitoes and regularly occurs between late spring and early fall each year. So far in 2023, EEE has also been detected in Florida, Alabama and Louisiana. 

Humans are susceptible to EEE and there is no human vaccine for it, though human cases are rare. According to data from the CDC, fewer than 10 human cases occurred annually from 2003 to 2022.

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