United States

Horse Euthanized After Testing Positive for EEE in Columbia

A horse that tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis has been euthanized in Columbia.

The State of Connecticut Department of Agriculture announced Friday that a second case of EEE was detected in a 15-year-old female Mustang horse.

The horse was observed on Aug. 11 by stable attendants as having difficulty breathing, acting distressed and unable to stand in an open field.

The horse was not current with its vaccinations for rabies, EEE or West Nile virus, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Samples collected at the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory at the University of Connecticut in Storrs and submitted to the United States Department of Agriculture National Veterinary Services Laboratories were confirmed positive for EEE virus, the Department of Agriculture said.

Earlier this month, a quarter horse from Colchester died.

What You Need to Know About Eastern Equine Encephalitis:

Eastern equine encephalitis virus is also spread through bites from infected mosquitoes and the state Department of Health reports EEEV is rare in the United States with an average of seven cases reported each year. No vaccine is vailable.

Approximately one third of people who become sick from EEE will die from the illness, according to the state Department of Health. They urge that early treatment can lower the risk of complications and death.


The best prevention is to avoid getting bitten. Find tips here.

"It will be the usual things, avoid having standing water on your property because those of breeding grounds for mosquitos," Director of Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab Dr. Joan Smyth said.

Dr. Smyth says horses are more susceptible to the virus, and encourages horse owners to get the animals vaccinated.

“It’s really from August onward that we see this as a problem with horses and humans and so on. We’re entering the very high risk period now," Dr. Smyth said.

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