The first known cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in this part of the state since the mid-1990s have been reported by the Mississippi State Department of Health, one in Wayne County and one in Clarke County.
The Clarke County horse was brought to the Seal-Laird Clinic in Meridian for treatment. Dr Otis Seal said there was nothing he could do.
"As it progressed during the night, he got to head pressing and really mutilated himself pretty bad and was humanely euthanized the next morning," said the veterinarian.
"The laboratory confirmation just came in today that this was a confirmed case of eastern Equine Encephalitis," said Seal.
This disease is apparently potentially more serious than West Nile, according to authorities. It is also transmitted through mosquitoes.
"There's been pretty good documentation results and research that says the horse is not contagious from horse to horse or from horse to humans," said Seal. "The human gets the disease very similar to the way the horse gets it."
That means by the bite of a mosquito. While you are in danger, your family pets, other than horses, are not.
Dr. Seal said, to protect yourself, wear long sleeves, use insect repellent and don't stay outside in the early morning or late afternoon when mosquitoes are most active.
"It is a danger to humans. Humans can get this same disease," Seal said.
However, no human cases have been reported in our area.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis
Source: http://www.state.nj.us/health/cd/f_eee.htm contributed to this report.