EEE: Horses in Ohio and New York Euthanized

In what has been a long, hot, dry summer, more cases of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) have been confirmed in Ohio and New York recently.

Two horses were euthanized in Ohio, bringing the total for EEE cases in that state to four. Williams and Sandusky counties each have had one case in the past couple of weeks, while Mercer County reported two cases earlier this year.

In Vernon, N.Y., a yearling colt was euthanized after displaying clinical signs of EEE Oct. 7. He first exhibited signs in late September and the New York Department of Health's Wadsworth Laboratory confirmed EEE.

This was the first confirmed case in Oneida County since 2006, but the seventh case in New York this year (the first New York case was confirmed in August). Other New York counties that have had horses euthanized due to EEE include Madison (one), Oswego (two), and Onondaga (three).

"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," Health Director Gayle Jones told the Rome Sentinal.

Eastern equine encephalitis is caused by a virus that can infect birds, horses and humans. It is transmitted by mosquitoes, and outbreaks typically occur in late summer and early fall when mosquitoes are most abundant. Infected horses could experience symptoms including paralysis, impaired vision, difficulty swallowing, hanging their heads and grinding their teeth.

About the Author

Megan Arszman

Megan Arszman received a Bachelor of Science In print journalism and equine science from Murray State University in Murray, Ky., and loves combining her love of horses, photography, and writing. In her “free time,” when she’s not busy working as a horse show secretary or riding her American Quarter Horses on her parents’ Indiana farm, she’s training and competing her Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Swedish Vallhund in dog agility and running.

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from Learn More