SAVANNAH — The Coastal Health District is encouraging all horse owners in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long and McIntosh counties to vaccinate their animals against eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV). Vaccinations generally cost around $40 and protect horses against this potentially fatal virus.
EEEV is a mosquito-borne virus that causes swelling of the brain. In horses, it is fatal 70 to 90 percent of the time.
Since January, there have been 12 confirmed cases (11 horses and one dog) in Georgia including cases in both Camden and Long counties.
“The vaccination for EEEV is easy to obtain from veterinarians and relatively inexpensive which is why we strongly encourage horse owners to take this preventive measure,” said Robert Thornton, Coastal Health District epidemiologist.
“Mosquitoes are more populous in the summer and there is a greater risk of animals being infected this time of year.”
Because mosquitoes breed in water and horses drink out of buckets and troughs, horse owners should also keep an eye on watering sources and clean them out every three or four days.
For more information on EEEV, please go to www.cdc.gov/diseasesconditions