Baby horse euthanized after contracting EEE virus

VERNON, N.Y. - A year old colt in the town of Vernon had to be euthanized after it was observed to be suffering neurological symptoms that were later determined to be the result of the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) arbovirus, Oneida County Health Department officials said Thursday.

The horse first exhibited symptoms on September 28 and was put down the following day.  The horse had been acquired by its owner in early August.  Subsequent tests performed by the New York State Department of Health Wadsworth Laboratory confirmed the EEE infection.

This is the first animal fatality in Oneida County associated with EEE this year.  The last horse fatality as a result of EEE in Oneida County occurred in 2006.  Madison County reported a horse fatality last month and Onondaga County reported three horse fatalities and one human fatality attributed to Eastern Equine Encephalitis this year.  

"The hot summer weather provided ideal breeding conditions for mosquitoes resulting in higher than normal instances of arboviruses including Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile Virus throughout New York State," Dr. Gayle Jones, Director of Health said.  

Aerial spraying of about 27,000 acres in western Oneida County was conducted in late August in an effort to suppress the adult mosquito population after several mosquito pools collected in that area tested positive for EEE. 
 

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