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Young Forest County Horse Tests Positive for EEE
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 09/01/2016

A two-month old filly from northern Wisconsin is the first horse in the state to become infected with Eastern Equine Encephalitis this year. State animal health officials say the Forest County animal was unvaccinated and had to be put down in late-August after testing positive for the virus.

"Northern Wisconsin has good mosquito habitat. It's also been a very wet summer up north, which contributes to the problem," says Dr. Julie McGwin, equine program veterinarian for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture.

EEE is caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitoes, and may cause encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, and is fatal to horses in 90 percent of cases. Symptoms in horses include depression, appetite loss, drooping eyelids and lower lip, fever, weakness, twitching, paralysis or lack of coordination, aimless wandering, circling and blindness.

The virus is not contagious between horses, but can be carried by mosquitos from an avian, or bird, host to horses and humans.

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