Town of Orleans horse euthanized due to rare mosquito virus

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FILE – In this Aug. 26, 2019, file photo, Salt Lake City Mosquito Abatement District biologist Nadja Reissen examines a mosquito in Salt Lake City. State and federal health officials are reporting a higher than usual number of deaths and illnesses from a rare, mosquito-borne virus this year. Eastern equine encephalitis has been diagnosed in a score of people in six states and several people have died so far this year. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

ORLEANS, N.Y. (WWTI) — The Jefferson County Public Health Service has confirmed that a horse was euthanized due to a confirmed infection of a rare mosquito virus, two others are awaiting results

The horse tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis after exhibiting symptoms. Due to the seriousness of the disease the mammal was put down.

Public Health Services alerts all that although this is rare, the EEE virus can also infect people, other horses, mammals, and some birds, reptiles and amphibians. Only five cases of EEEV has been reported since 1971, but none have survived.

The risk of getting EEE is highest from late July through September due to mosquito activity. Those at the greatest risk of developing severe symptoms are those over 50 years and younger than 15.

Two other horses residing near the affected horse have also been euthanized after exhibiting similar symptoms. Horse owners should speak to their veterinarians about vaccination against EEE.

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