BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain is urging people to vaccinate their horses after three horses in Iberville and Lafourche parishes tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
“Mosquitoes are out in force right now,” Strain said. “The hot and wet conditions exacerbated by storms such as Hurricane Laura increase the number of mosquitoes that could be carrying diseases. Like humans, horses are infected by being bitten by mosquitoes. That is why it is so important to vaccinate your horses to help prevent them from getting sick. It is not too late to do so.”
In addition to having horses vaccinated, owners may be able to prevent their horses from contracting EEE by removing standing water where mosquitoes may breed and by using mosquito repellent that’s safe for humans and for horses.
Common signs of the potentially deadly disease include fever, loss of appetite, weakness, loss of coordination and circling, according to Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry spokesperson Veronica Mosgrove.
Although EEE primarily impacts equine species, it can also affect pigs, llamas, bats, reptiles, amphibians, rodents and humans, Mosgrove wrote.
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