Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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Sept. 15, 2006

Two Horses Contract EEE in Oswego County

Two horses in the Oswego County towns of Schroeppel and Albion have tested positive for Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), the Oswego County Health Department reported today.

Kathleen Smith, Oswego County Public Health Director, said the two horses were probably exposed to the virus during the latter part of the week of Aug. 20.

A horse on state Route 49 in the town of Schroeppel developed severe symptoms Sept. 9 and was humanely euthanized that day. A horse on county Route 48 in the town of Albion developed severe symptoms and was humanely euthanized on Sept. 11.

The horses were treated by a local veterinarian and the county Health Department made arrangements to test for rabies, EEE and West Nile virus. The county was notified by the state Health Department on Friday that both horses tested positive for EEE.

The virus is carried by mosquitoes. Smith said people should continue to protect themselves from mosquito bites by using an insect repellant and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when they are outdoors.

“Even with warm days, the mosquito activity will continue to decrease with the cool evening temperatures we’ve had lately,” said Smith. “We do not plan to conduct aerial spraying at this time. Our staff remains in close consultation with research scientists from the New York State Health Department’s arbovirus surveillance program, and we will continue to closely monitor the situation.”

In rare cases, EEE causes inflammation and swelling of the brain. Symptoms include sudden high fever, muscle pains, and a headache of increasing severity. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention.

People with questions may call the Oswego County Health Department at 349-3564 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3564, between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. After business hours, call the health department’s on-call service at 341-0086. Information on EEE is posted on the Oswego County Web site at www.oswegocounty.com.

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