Rome (WSYR-TV) – Another horse in Oneida County has died as a result of contracting EEE.
The Oneida County Health Department reported on Tuesday that test results on a suspected case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in a horse in the north Rome-Lee Center area has confirmed that the animal was infected with the disease when it was euthanized last week after developing neurological symptoms. Two previous confirmed cases of EEE in horses occurred in the Town of Westmoreland and in Camden.
This brings the total number of confirmed horse cases of EEE in Oneida County this year to three, with results on two more suspected cases involving horses still pending, health department officials said. The virus, which is spread through the bite of a mosquito, is fatal to horses in up to 95 percent of the cases. An animal that survives can be left with long-lasting impairments and neurological problems often requiring that the animal be put down for humane reasons once a diagnosis of EEE is made. There is an effective vaccine available for horses recommended by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP).
Neighboring Oswego County has reported five cases of EEE in horses and a human case resulting in the death of a five-year-old girl. Additionally, neighboring Herkimer County is investigating a possible EEE death involving a dog.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis is rarely transmitted to humans; however the death of a five-year-old Oswego County girl in August has been attributed to the virus.