Second case of EEE reported

Published 10:16 am Friday, July 15, 2016

Two cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis have been reported in Virginia in the last two weeks, the latest identified on July 8 in Suffolk. A horse that lives on Godwin Boulevard, close to the Isle of Wight County border, has been diagnosed with the mosquito-borne disease. It has since been vaccinated and is recovering.

EEE causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, and symptoms in horses include impaired vision, aimless wandering, head pressing, circling, inability to swallow, irregular staggering gait, paralysis, convulsions and death, according to VDACS, whose press release on the recent case stated that it can take three to 10 days for symptoms to manifest themselves.

Last year, Virginia had three cases of EEE reported, including one in Suffolk.

Horse owners are encouraged to work with their veterinarians to plan a vaccination schedule for their animals, and city officials are working to reduce mosquito populations.

Officials are also asking residents for their help in the effort, suggesting the following steps for limiting the places where disease-carrying mosquitoes might survive:

• Empty water-holding containers such as buckets, drums, bottles, tin cans, wheelbarrows, potted plant trays and so on.

• Properly dispose of used tires.

• Clear roof gutters, downspouts and corrugated black drainpipes.

• Clean wading and swimming pools.

• Drain water from tarps.

• Place Mosquito Dunks in stagnant water areas around your home.