Georgia Horse Owners Urged to Vaccinate Against EEE

Two horses in Long County, Ga., have tested positive for Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). The Coastal Health District is encouraging all horse owners in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh Counties to vaccinate their animals against EEE.

EEE is a mosquito-borne virus that causes swelling of the brain. In horses, it is fatal 70 to 90% of the time. In 2008, there were at least 12 cases of EEE in animals in the state of Georgia.

"EEE can be fatal but there is a vaccine readily available. We strongly encourage horse owners to get their animals vaccinated to protect them from this disease," said Robert Thornton, Coastal Health District epidemiologist. "Mosquitoes are more populous in the summer and there is a greater risk of animals being infected this time of year."

Because mosquitoes breed in water and horses drink out of buckets and troughs, horse owners should also keep an eye on watering sources and clean them often.

For more information on EEE, see For more information on obtaining the EEE vaccine, contact a veterinarian.

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