Clinic Held To Vaccinate Horses Against EEE
All it takes is a prick of a needle to prevent a horse from catching the deadly eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus, but last year not many people knew about it.
Last year, the virus killed an Oswego County girl and at least 12 horses in central and northern New York.
That's why state Sen. Patty Ritchie secured enough money in the New York state budget for clinics in Heuvelton and Oswego County.
Heuvelton was selected because several of the horses that died belonged to Amish owners.
EEE, or triple-E, is a virus spread by mosquitoes. It can be contracted by any mammal and the effects are serious.
"It's a disease that affects the brains, so invariably they have signs, neurological signs," said veterinarian Jack Zeh.
"Some horses can recover," Zeh said, "but it can be a fatal disease, also."
It goes beyond horses, it affects any mammal, including humans.
In Oswego county last year, 4 year old Maggie Sue Wilcox died from the virus.
"She was a 4 year old who died from the virus," Ritchie said.
There currently isn't a vaccination for humans.
The key to not catching EEE for humans is preventing mosquito bites. For the horse, it's getting the shot.
The vaccine is available from veterinarians and costs around $20 dollars.
A second clinic is Friday in the Oswego County town of New Haven.
Thursday, May 23, 2013, Watertown, NY
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