Oneida County horse positive for equine encephalitis
Eastern equine encephalitis, a virus transmitted by mosquitoes, has been reported in Oneida County. A horse has tested positive for the virus, according to the county health department.
Though EEE is transmitted to humans, horses, birds and other animals through bites from infected mosquitoes, no EEE cases in humans have been reported in the state this year. In fact, the health department reported that only three human cases of the illness have been reported in Wisconsin since 1964.
A press release from the Oneida County Health Department states that most people infected with EEE do not experience symptoms, however, some infected people develop encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) that typically begins with sudden onset of fever, headaches, chills and vomiting. The illness may become severe resulting in disorientation, seizures, coma or death. There is no specific treatment for EEE.
Clinical signs of EEE infection in horses include depression, loss of appetite, drooping eyelids and lower lip, blindness, paralysis and death. There is a vaccine to protect horses from becoming ill.
Residents should be vigilant in taking measures to prevent mosquito bites, and it is important that people contact their health care provider if they suspect they have EEE illness.