Eastern Equine Encephalitis reports from Alabama, Florida (5), Indiana, Massachusetts (4), Michigan (4), New York, and Virginia; West Nile Virus reports from Florida, and Massachusetts (3); and St. Louis Encephalitis report from Texas.

301 cases of EEE nationally in 2009

Alabama 08/11/10 al.com: by Casandra Andrews, Press Register – A sentinel chicken from the Elberta area has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis, according to the Baldwin County Health Department.  In June, EEE was detected in sentinel chickens in the Orange Beach area and in July in the Magnolia Springs area. Ongoing public health surveillance has detected no mosquito-borne virus activity in humans in Baldwin County this year, health officials said in a written statement.

Florida 08/12/10 panhandleparade.com: This is to advise that there has been increased mosquito-borne disease activity in areas of Jackson County. Four horses around the County have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) with the most recent one being located on Syfrett Rd., Northwest of Alford.  The risk of transmission to humans has increased.

Florida 08/12/10 wpbf.com: Stuart – A horse in Martin County has tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis.   The Martin County Health Department said Thursday that the 3-year-old horse living on a farm west of Hobe Sound was euthanized during the weekend after testing positive.

Florida 08/07/10 heraldtribune.com: Alachua County is under a mosquito-borne illness advisory.  Two animal cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis have been confirmed on opposite ends of the county. The illness is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system. It is transmitted by infected mosquitoes.  A sentinel chicken near the Waldo area and a horse in southern Alachua County between Gainesville and Micanopy both tested positive for the illness.  The horse had to be euthanized.

Florida 08/06/10 firstcoastnews.com: Jacksonville — Chicken flocks in various locations in Duval County have tested positive for Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus, according to the county’s health department.

Florida 08/05/10 wctv.tv: by Candace Sweat – Tallahassee – Health Department officials released an advisory alerting residents about two horses in Jefferson County that had recently tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus and the West Nile Virus.

Indiana 08/12/10 wsbt.com: Indiana state health officials issued a warning Thursday, noting Eastern Equine Encephalitis has been found in mosquitoes in Elkhart County.

Massachusetts 08/15/10 cw56.com: Boston – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and Rhode Island HEALTH today announced the first case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in a person. The patient, a male in his 20s from Newport County in Rhode Island, is listed in critical condition. His exposure to a mosquito carrying EEE likely occurred in the southeastern section of Massachusetts that has been identified as an area of elevated risk.  The onset of his symptoms occurred on August 5, prior to that evening’s start of aerial spraying in southeastern Massachusetts. Symptoms usually present themselves within two to 10 days of exposure. Further details on his identity are not being released due to patient privacy considerations.  Our thoughts continue to be with this patient and his family, said Director of Health David R. Gifford, MD, MPH. While we have not had any mosquitoes test positive for EEE in Rhode Island; this case is a reminder that everyone should continue to take steps to prevent mosquito bites and get rid of standing water on their property.  Aerial spraying in southeastern Massachusetts conducted from August 5 – 7 has reduced the overall mosquito population in southeastern Massachusetts (including the likely location of exposure in this case) by 80 percent and the number of mammal-biting mosquitoes by 90 percent. Mammal-biting mosquitoes pose the greatest risk to humans.  This is a tragic reminder of the very real threat of EEE that were facing in Massachusetts, said DPH Commissioner John Auerbach, Now more than ever, its important that each of us take the simple, very effective steps to protect ourselves from getting bitten by mosquitoes.  The last human case in Massachusetts was in 2008 and in Rhode Island. Massachusetts has confirmed 47 positive EEE pools in 2010. Rhode Island has not identified any EEE-positive mosquitoes. EEE is usually spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. It is a serious disease in all ages and can even cause death in some cases.

Massachusetts 08/14/10 boston.com: by Stephen Smith – For the first time this summer, mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus have been discovered in Boston, public health authorities reported yesterday.  The infected insects, which can spread the virus to people through bites, were found in the northern part of Dorchester.  No human cases of West Nile have been reported so far this year in Boston or elsewhere in Massachusetts. The most recent human case of the disease in the state was reported in 2008.  No human cases of Eastern equine encephalitis have been diagnosed in the state since 2008. From 2004 through 2006, there were 13 cases, resulting in six deaths.

Massachusetts 08/12/10 insidemedford.com: by Allison Goldsberry – A batch of Medford mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV), according to the state department of public health and the Medford Board of Health.

Massachusetts 08/12/10 telegram.com: The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported Aug. 4 that a 4-year-old horse from Warren has been diagnosed with eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). EEE infection was confirmed by the State Laboratory Institute. The horse developed symptoms on July 31 and had to be euthanized on Aug. 1.  The most recent case of EEE infection in a horse in Worcester County occurred in 2003 in Brimfield.  There was one human case of EEE in Massachusetts during 2008; however, 13 cases occurred with six deaths from 2004 through 2006.

Massachusetts 08/12/10 southcoasttoday.com: by Anika Clark – A third horse has fallen ill to eastern equine encephalitis and more population pools have tested positive for the deadly virus, the state Department of Public Health reported Wednesday. Experiencing an onset of symptoms on Aug. 2, the Plympton horse was the third reported this year with the brain-swelling sickness, following horses in Middleboro and Warren.  The first two were euthanized, but the “latest horse with EEE has actually survived so far and has improved somewhat,” Catherine M. Brown, state public health veterinarian, wrote in an e-mail Wednesday evening. Also Wednesday, the state reported three more pools testing positive for EEE in Plympton and Halifax, after the mosquitoes were collected on Monday. The day before, the state finished expansive aerial spraying of much of Southeastern Massachusetts with pesticide in an attempt to reduce mosquito populations and keep the virus at bay.  Since 2001, 27 horses have been reported infected with EEE, according to a recent press release from the state Department of Agricultural Resources, which emphasized the importance of vaccinations and preventative measures such as ridding properties of standing water.  The latest three infected pools bring the state’s total to 47, all of which have been trapped in Bristol and Plymouth counties. Plympton and Middleboro have seen the highest number of positive pools, with 12 and 11, respectively. Of all of the state’s positive pools so far, 28 have consisted of a primarily bird-biting species, Culiseta melanura, whereas 18 have contained the people-biting Coquillettidia perturbans. Ochlerotatus canadensis, also people-biters, were collected in a EEE-positive pool in Plympton on July 25.

Massachusetts 08/06/10 telegram.com: by Jan Gottesman – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) announced Wednesday that West Nile virus (WNV) has been detected in mosquitoes collected from Berlin. The sample was taken near the Hudson line.   The Central Mass. Mosquito Control Project set out traps in the Sawyer Hill Road area.

Michigan 08/13/10 wndu.com: by Jeff Blevins – High mosquito activity is causing a rise in Eastern Equine Encephalitis. So far 67 horses have died in Michigan.  That’s the most cases in the state in 30 years. Most of those deaths have been in the southwest part of the state.

Michigan 08/13/10 grandhaventribune.com: Kalamazoo –  Health officials are warning people about the danger of contracting a form of encephalitis from mosquito bites.  The Detroit News

It's as simple as this!

reported Friday that two Kalamazoo County residents have contracted Eastern equine encephalitis, a disease seen in horses but rarely seen in humans.  The virus is transferred to humans through infected mosquitoes. Some people who are infected suffer from headaches, fever, chills and vomiting. It also can lead to disorientation, seizures, coma and even death.  Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Manager Michelle Thorne said one case involves an adult man who collapsed and was hospitalized. No information was available about the other case.

Michigan 08/12/10 mlive.com: by Rosemary Parker – As many as 67 horses have died in one of the worst outbreaks of  Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Michigan  in 30 years, and most of the cases have occurred in Southwest Michigan.  Barry County seems to be the center of the outbreak, with incidents also reported in Cass, St. Joseph, Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties, said Michigan Department of Agriculture state veterinarian Steven Halstead.  A Kalamazoo County man was hospitalized in July with a suspected case of the EEE, though the Centers for Disease Control has not yet confirmed that diagnosis, said Kelly Niebel, Michigan Department of Community Health.  Only 15 of the cases in horses have confirmed positive test results for the disease, Halstead said. The other 52 include horses that have died after exhibiting symptoms of the disease but that were not tested, and those dead horses that have test results pending. The Michigan Department of Community Health has assigned a student employee to make weekly calls to veterinarians to track cases.  Recent years have only had a handful of EEE reports; state records show there were 93 confirmed cases in 1980 and 55 cases in 1981.

Michigan 08/12/10 hastingsbanner.com: A 12-month-old Arabian male horse from Barry County is one of three horses in Michigan that has tested positive for the mosquito-borne disease Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), according to a press release from the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA).  In that press release, a spokesperson said that a 3-month-old Percheron filly from Calhoun County also has tested positive. The MDA was notified July 20 of a third case from a 4-year-old mixed-breed mare from Cass County by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories. This horse was displaying signs of neurologic disease typical of EEE, including staggering and depression, as well as fever.  The department also has been informed that several additional horses in Cass County are highly suspect for the disease and are awaiting test results.

New York 08/08/10 examiner.com: by Deb Eldredge, Utica Pet Health Examiner – Just a week ago, we reported that no EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) virus was detected in mosquitoes in Oneida County. Those results are now changed.  A mosquito trap set up in a swampy area near Vienna (northwestern Oneida County) came up with 28 mosquitoes that tested positive for EEE.  The Oneida County Health Department has 12 traps set up around the county to monitor the presence of certain mosquito borne illnesses EEE as reported earlier is a virus whose first choice host is a bird.

Ringneck Pheasant

Pheasants and ducks are often thought of as the ideal hosts for this virus.  Unfortunately the virus will rarely be transmitted to other species. Horses are very susceptible and a yearly vaccine has been developed for them. Certainly if your horses have not yet been vaccinated, you need to do so! Horses are infected when a mosquito of the proper species bites an infected bird and then feeds on a horse as well. Only a few types of mosquitoes can transmit the virus to people and horses. Dogs and cats are infected even less commonly and tend to do well.  The last case in Oneida County came in 2006 when a pony near Vienna died of EEE. Sadly, EEE is usually fatal in horses but the vaccine prevents this – especially important since we can’t keep our horses in a mosquito free environment. EEE is about 30% fatal in people, with residual neurologic effects seen in most people who recover. New York has had two human cases from 1964 to 2008.   

Texas 08/10/10 caller.com: by Rhiannon Meyers – Corpus Christi – Two pools of mosquitoes collected in Corpus Christi have tested positive for St. Louis encephalitis, a viral infection that can cause brain inflammation, but there have been no reports of the disease in humans.  This is the first instance of St. Louis encephalitis found in mosquitoes statewide this year, said Chris Van Deusen, spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services.  Since 1990, 72 people in Texas have tested positive for St. Louis encephalitis, according to state health department records. The records don’t indicate how many of those people died from the disease or where the cases were.  The virus comes in spurts, and most years, there are no cases of the mosquito-borne disease found in humans, according to the records. Human cases of St. Louis encephalitis have been reported in Texas in only eight of the past 20 years.  “While we can expect to see West Nile virus in Texas every year, St. Louis encephalitis is not something we see every year, but it certainly crops up from time to time,” Van Deusen said. “Most people exposed to the virus won’t get sick, and the vast majority that do get sick will recover. But it certainly can be dangerous, and older adults especially should take precautions.”  Mosquitoes that tested positive in Corpus Christi were collected Aug. 3 from two traps less than two miles apart in the 2900 block of Lawton Street and in the 4500 block of Castenon Street.  This is the first time in at least 10 years that mosquitoes collected in Corpus Christi have tested positive for the disease, said Dr. William Burgin Jr., Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District health authority.

Virginia 08/16/10 hamptonroads.com: Richmond – Virginia has recorded its first case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in 2010.  The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said Monday that it confirmed an 18-month-old female mustang from Suffolk had the disease. The horse was euthanized July 26.  Eight cases were confirmed in 2009, most in the Hampton Roads area.

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