Mosquito-borne viruses pose threat to SC horses - FOX Carolina 21

Mosquito-borne viruses pose threat to SC horses

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(Courtesy: Wikipedia) (Courtesy: Wikipedia)
(FOX Carolina) -

Mosquito-borne viruses are posing a threat to horses in South Carolina. 

According to Sean Eastman, director of field services for the Animal Health Programs at Clemson, there were 10 cases of West Nile Virus and nine of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in the state last year. 

The viruses are transmitted to horses by mosquitoes. “These diseases have a very high mortality rate in exposed, unvaccinated horses — between 30 and 40 percent for West Nile and 90 percent for EEE,” Eastman said. 

The Public Service and Agriculture Unit at Clemson recommends horses are vaccinated at least once a year for Eastern and Western Equine Encephalitis and West Nile Virus. 

Horses begin to show symptoms of EEE 2 to 5 days after they've been exposed to the virus. Symptoms of EEE include stumbling, circling, head-pressing, weakness of legs, partial paralysis, inability to stand and muscle twitching. 

Symptoms of West Nile in horses include depression, mild anorexia, drowsiness, skin sensitivity and changes in mental activity. 

Owners are required to report these symptoms to the state vet's office within 48 hours. 

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