Equine Encephalitis Detected In Mexico And South America

Three new equine encephalitis locations have been detected in Mexico as of Feb. 20, 1999, according to ProMED (Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases). The disease is continues to be present in two other locations, according to the Pan American Foot-and-Mouth Disease Center in Brazil.

The areas affected by the equine encephalitis are immediately north and south of Mexico City with other locations within 200 miles from Mexico City. There are two additional foci in Chiapas, Mexico. At this point, according to officials, the disease poses no threat to North America, but may possibly threaten Mexico's southern neighbor Guatemala.

According to ProMED reports, a case of Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE) occurred in the Yali area of Colombia, South America. There were a total of 70 susceptible animals, none of which were vaccinated against the disease. The ProMED report said, “measures taken to control the outbreak included vaccination of 1,700 horses in Yali municipality and 2,000 horses in the contiguous municipalities.” As of Feb. 27, 1999, there were 14 clinical cases with one case being confirmed as VEE by a laboratory.

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