Dunn County reports Equine Encephalitis in horses | WisCommunity

Dunn County reports Equine Encephalitis in horses

August 11, 2020 - 9:36pm

The Dunn County Health Department reports that two horses in Dunn County have
tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), which is caused by the EEE virus. This is the first
documented EEE activity in the state this year. No EEE cases in humans have been reported in
Wisconsin thus far in 2020. Only three human cases of EEE have been reported in Wisconsin between
1964 and 2017.

Many people infected with EEE virus do not get sick. Those who do become ill may develop
encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) that typically begins with the sudden development of fever,
headache, chills, and vomiting. The illness may become severe resulting in disorientation, seizures,
coma, or death. There is no specific treatment for EEE illness.

Signs of EEE infection in horses include depression, loss of appetite, drooping eyelids and lower lip,
blindness, paralysis, and death. Horse owners can vaccinate their horses against EEE virus to protect
them from becoming ill.

Because EEE virus is known to be circulating in Dunn County, residents and visitors to are should be
vigilant in preventing mosquito bites. The Dunn County Health Department offers these tips to
protect yourself and your family against mosquito bites:

  • Limit time spent outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Apply an insect repellant with DEET, IR3535, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus to
  • exposed skin and clothing.
  • Make sure window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquito entry.
  • Prevent mosquitoes from breeding by removing stagnant water from items around your property, such as tin cans, plastic containers, flower pots, discarded tires, roof gutters, and downspouts.
  • Turn over wheelbarrows, wading pools, boats, and canoes when not in use.
  • Change the water in bird baths and pet dishes at least every three days.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs; drain water from pool covers.
  • Landscape to prevent water from pooling in low-lying areas, and trim tall grass, weeds, and vines since mosquitoes use these areas to rest during hot daylight hours.

For more information about EEE virus, please visit:

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