Equine Eastern Encephalitis (EEE) This disease is also known as the sleeping sickness, it is capable of infecting a wide range of animals including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and even humans. This virus is carried on by birds and mosquitoes mainly during the summer. This is a viral disease that is often fatal in horses. This disease occurs in areas and at times where the mosquito population is abundant. Even though outbreaks are generally limited to a certain geographic perimeter due to the pattern of distribution of the vector, horses located in other areas in Florida may be at risk of contracting the disease, due to the current climatic conditions.
Symptoms in horses occur one to three weeks after infection, and begin with a fever that may reach as high as 106 °F (41 °C). The fever usually lasts for 24–48 hours. Nervous signs appear during the fever include sensitivity to sound, periods of excitement, and restlessness. Brain lesions appear, causing drowsiness, drooping ears, circling, aimless wandering, head pressing, inability to swallow, and abnormal gait. Paralysis follows, causing the horse to have difficulty raising its head. The horse usually suffers complete paralysis and death two to four days after symptoms appear. Mortality rates among horses with the eastern strain range from 70 to 90%. In humans, symptoms include high fever, muscle pain, altered mental status, headache, meningeal irritation, photophobia, and seizures, which occur three to 10 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.
How to prevent this disease in horses is by vaccinations most commonly WEE, VEE and the Tetanus. Most of the vaccinations consist of the killed virus. As for Treatment there is NO cure for EEE 75-90% of horses die! And survivors are left with severe sequalae, which is a pathological condition resulting from a disease, injury, or other trauma.
There is no known treatment for this disease. The only treatments used in horses with neurological signs associated with viral encephalitis are primarily supportive and include anti-inflammatory, anti convulsions, and fluid therapy.
The best way to prevent this horrible disease from attacking our pets is to have them vaccinated with either one of these vaccines Equiloid Innovator, Fluvac Innovator 4, Fluvac Innovator 5, Fluvac Innovator 6, Fluvac Innovator Triple E-FT. Each of these are a little different its always best to speak with the vet before applying any of these vaccines.