- NEW ORLEANS -- Eastern equine
encephalitis (EEE) has struck 9 horses in Louisiana, 8 of them in the last
2 weeks. Tests are still out on several more horses, assistant state veterinarian
Martha Littlefield said on Thursday.
- "Triple-E's a much more serious disease than West
Nile," Littlefield said. "When horses get it, they don't recover."Nine
of 10 horses die from EEE; survivors almost always have neurological problems.
It is much rarer in people -- fewer than 160 cases have been diagnosed
since 1964 -- but kills 3 out of 10 human patients, with neurological problems
likely in the rest.
- No people have been diagnosed with it this year in Louisiana.
Two each in Georgia and Florida have been diagnosed, and Alabama officials
are Waiting on results of tests on 2 more people. Just as worrying as the
threat of EEE, Littlefield said, is the fact that 1 shot vaccinates horses
against not only that virus but 2 or 3 other viruses which cause encephalitis
and against tetanus. [Generally EEE is packaged in a single injection also
containing western and Venezuelan equine encephalitis and tetanus toxoid.
This vaccine needs to be given twice initially and annually thereafter.
- Mod.TG] If horses haven't been vaccinated for EEE, they also are susceptible
to the other diseases. One New Orleans horse specialist gives a vaccine
for flu, tetanus and 3 forms of encephalitis for USD 20 a shot.
- "Unfortunately, the vaccine against Eastern equine
encephalitis has to be administered a couple of months before the horse
is exposed," to give its immune system time to respond, said Dawn
Wesson, a Tulane University entomologist.
- Most of the infected horses have been in West Louisiana:
2 in DeSoto Parish, 1 in Sabine Parish, and 2 in Allen Parish -- all 3
near Vernon Parish -- and 1 in Webster Parish. There also was 1 each in
Ouachita, Orleans, and Assumption parishes. Eight either died or had to
be euthanized. The survivor was a 2 month old foal in New Orleans, Littlefield
said. "It's probably going to have some neurological damage,"
- The mosquito which transmits EEE among birds is a swamp-dweller,
hard to get to for mosquito control. But those which spread it from birds
to people and horses are the same ones likely to spread West Nile virus,
said Dawn Wesson, a Tulane University entomologist. This means people can
take the same precautions around their horses that they take around their
houses, making sure water doesn't stand around in pots, buckets, bottle
lids or other containers. "Horse troughs provide excellent mosquito
breeding habitat and should be flushed at least once each week to reduce
mosquitoes near the paddock area," an LSU AgCenter brochure advises.
"The use of residual insecticides for treating mosquito resting areas
around homes and livestock premises is helpful, too."
- Patricia A. Doyle, PhD Please visit my "Emerging
Diseases" message board at: http://www.clickitnews.com/ubbthreads/postlist.php?Cat=&Board=emergingdiseases
Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa Go with God and in Good Health