Eastern Equine Encephalitis Outbreak Alert!
We're seeing an increase in EEE cases in north Florida. As of May 28th, there have been 6 confirmed cases in the state of Florida (not including the cases that were never reported or confirmed)! EEE is transmitted by mosquitoes. Early on, it causes fever, lethargy, and lack of appetite. As the infection progresses, neurologic symptoms usually develop. Horses will appear "sleepy" and show loss of balance and coordination. They will walk in circles, trip, lay down and be unable to stand. Some horses suffer seizures, blindness, or become comatose. Treatment is often ineffective and mortality is around 95% for those affected.
But there is hope! We have a vaccine that is protective against the disease. In Florida, we recommend vaccination against EEE every 6 months. Foals should receive their first set of vaccines around 5-6 months and should be boostered 2-3x. Your vet is your ally in protecting your horse against mosquito born disease. Let us formulate a vaccination protocol that fits the age and exposure risk of your horse.
For up to date information about confirmed reported diseases in Florida, check out the Equine Disease Communication Center website below.