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Mosquito-borne virus infects seven horses, one human in NC

Published: Aug. 26, 2016 at 8:51 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - Seven horses and one human have been infected with mosquito-borne eastern equine encephalitis this summer in North Carolina.

The disease, also known as EEE or 'Triple E,' can cause inflammation of the brain.

There is a vaccine for horses, but there is none for humans. State Health and Human Services' Division of Public Health officials noted there was a single case affecting a human reported in North Carolina.

Cases affecting horses were reported in Brunswick, Hoke, Onslow, Pitt, Robeson, Sampson and Wake counties.

"Triple E is not communicable between horses and people," said State Public Health Veterinarian Carl Williams, DVM. "It is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. While Triple E is very rare in humans, when it does occur it is a serious illness, so it is very important to take protective measures against mosquito bites."

Symptoms for EEE in humans may include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, and sore throat. Those at highest risk live in or visit woodland habitats.

For more information on EEE visit: http://www.ncagr.gov/vet/FactSheets/EEE.html and http://epi.publichealth.nc.gov/cd/diseases/eee.html.

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