WATERTOWN (WWTI) — A case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis has been confirmed in Jefferson County.

According to Jefferson County Public Health, a horse in Antwerp tested positive for EEE and has died due to the virus.

EEE, or Triple E stems from mosquitoes. It is a very rare, but serious virus that usually results in death. Mosquitoes infected with EEE can infect people, horses and other mammals, some birds, reptiles and amphibians.

The risk of getting EEE is highest from late July through September. However, only about five to ten EEE human cases are reported in the United States annually.

The case in Antwerp is being investigated and results are pending for another horse residing in the Town of Orleans who was exhibiting similar symptoms. The last lab-confirmed positive EEE cases in the county occurred in 2020.

Horse owners are urged to speak to their veterinarians about vaccinations protecting against EEE.

Jefferson County Public Health also recommends the following measures to prevent mosquito bites and reduce mosquitos populations:

  • Use mosquito repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, lemon eucalyptus oil, or IR3535
  • Throw away containers that hold water
  • Remove tires
  • Drill holes in the bottom of outdoor recycling containers
  • Cleaned clogged rain gutters
  • Turn over wheelbarrows and wading pools
  • Change water in bird baths every four days
  • Clear vegetation and debris from edges of ponds
  • Clean chlorinated swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs
  • Drain water from pool covers
  • Use landscaping to eliminate low spots