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Saturday, November 8, 2008

EEE Reported in PA

Animal Health Emergency Management and Information Network

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services

Craig Shultz, DVM, Director

Telephone No: 717-772-2852 Fax No: 717-787-1868


Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis (EEE, "Sleeping Sickness")

Case Reported in Pennsylvania

A diagnosis of EEE was recently made in a horse from Warren County.
The horse, reported as a "juvenile" percheron filly, had a
36-hour history of progressive depression an fever. She was ataxic and
became recumbent prior to euthanasia on September 9, 2008. Laboratory
testing at the Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory diagnosed EEE by PCR
testing. The horse was negative for rabies and West Nile Virus.

The EEE virus is transmitted to horses and humans through the bite of
an infected mosquito. The main transmission cycle is between birds and
mosquitoes. Although many species of mosquitoes can become infected
with EEE, the most important mosquito species in maintaining the
bird-mosquito transmission cycle is Culiseta melanura. Other mosquito
species, acting as "bridges" between infected birds and
susceptible mammals, include Aedes and Culex species. Horses are
considered to be dead end hosts. The incubation period is reported as
3 to 10 days.

Annual vaccination against EEE in horses is recommended and horse
owners are encouraged to discuss vaccination with their veterinarians.

In response to this case in Pennsylvania, mosquito surveillance in
the area will be increased in early 2009.

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