Thursday: Morristown Horse Had EEE

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Story Updated: Jul 26, 2012

A horse found dead in the Town of Morristown tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis, (EEE) a deadly, mosquito-borne disease, according to Susan Hathway, St. Lawrence County public health director.

The horse was found in a field on July 23. The positive test result came back Wednesday, Hathaway said.

This death is the first horse death from EEE in St. Lawrence County this year. One horse was euthanized after testing positive for the disease last August, and the county also had a case in 2009. (See story here.)

Though EEE has historically stopped in northern Onondaga and Oswego counties, for the most part, rising concern over the disease prompted a vaccination clinic for horses in Heuvelton in June. (See story here.)

Hathaway says horses should be vaccinated and contact with mosquitoes should be avoided by removing standing water from your property (mosquitoes breed in standing water) and by wearing appropriate clothing and reppellent. 

The disease causes a swelling of part of the brain and is often fatal. Last year, a four year old Oswego County girl died from EEE.

In a statement, St. Lawrrence County Public Health points out mosquitoes carrying both EEE and West Nile disease have been found in the state.

(Read more on EEE - what it is, how it spreads - on Wikipedia here.)

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