New York officials are recommending that all horses be vaccinated against Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) after six cases of the deadly virus have been confirmed in the state.
Eastern, Western, and Venezuelan equine encephalitis (EEE, WEE, and VEE) are arboviruses -- meaning they are transmitted by blood-feeding insects or ticks -- and these pathogens can cause fatal neurologic disease in horses.
Every state in the 48 contiguous United States has now experienced a taste of West Nile virus since it first was detected in the Western Hemisphere in 1999.
Eastern equine encephalitis case reports have risen into the hundreds this year, with confirmation of equine cases in at least nine states as the virus seemingly moves northwest from hot spots in the Southeast.
Veterinarians are scrambling to keep up with the alarming number of Eastern equine encephalitis cases emerging in the southeastern United States. Since the beginning of June, South Carolina has had 17 confirmed equine cases, with about 25 pending confirmation. Florida's EEE case count is up to 113 horses this year, and Georgia has 30.
The number of cases of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in Florida has risen to 84.
The number of Eastern equine encephalitis cases in Florida has risen to 68 for this year, further substantiating an earlier suspicion that 2003 will be a tough year for fighting the disease. Florida's case count for all of 2002 was 25 horses.
According to several Georgia newspapers, eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) has struck nine horses in the southern part of the state. Only three cases were documented in Georgia in 2002.
The number of confirmed Eastern equine encephalitis cases in horses has risen to 23 in north central Florida, said Dr. Bill Jeter, diagnostic veterinary manager for Florida's Division of Animal Industry. The numbers confirm earlier speculation that 2003 would have higher-than-normal incidences of EEE.
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