SC's first equine encephalitis death confirmed in Sumter

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A state official has confirmed the first case of eastern equine encephalitis in South Carolina in 2013.

Dr. Boyd Parr, South Carolina State Veterinarian and director of Clemson University Livestock Poultry Health, said a foal from Sumter County that recently died tested positive for the disease. Two adult horses that died at the same farm around the same time are suspected of also having EEE, a mosquito-borne illness in horses that can also affect humans.

Symptoms in horses include stumbling, partial paralysis and the inability to stand. The symptoms usually develop from two to five days after exposure.

Nine out of every 10 horses infected with EEE virus dies.

Parr is urging horse owners to consult their veterinarians to ensure vaccinations against both EEE and West Nile Virus are up-to-date.

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