WNV, EEE Found in Massachusetts Mosquitoes

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MPH) announced Aug. 10 that Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus and West Nile virus (WNV) have been detected in mosquitoes in Bristol, Norfolk, and Suffolk counties.

According to the MPH statement, there have been five positive mosquito samples for EEE so far this year, compared with 50 positive samples at this time last summer.

According to the equine arbovirus reports compiled by the USDA's National Animal Health Surveillance System (NAHSS), a national reporting system for equine disease, there were there were six cases of EEE in horses in Massachusetts in 2006. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported five human cases, two of which were fatal.

In 2006, there were no equine cases of WNV in the state reported to NAHSS.

Neither of the viruses have been reported in horses or humans thus far in 2007.

Health officials are urging residents to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites, and also to help reduce standing water on their property if possible.

Vaccines for both EEE and WNV are available for horses.

The NAHSS is a network of federal and state government agencies that coordinates animal health monitoring and surveillance. The agency's Web site shows up-to-date equine case counts of EEE/WEE, WNV, equine infectious anemia, and vesicular stomatitis by state and county, as well as information on equine herpesvirus and equine viral arteritis. Site visitors can use interactive maps showing recent cases, and they can track disease occurrence over time. The NAHSS can be accessed at www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/nahss/equine.  

About the Author

Erin Ryder

Erin Ryder is a former news editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care.

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