Onslow County has increased mosquito control efforts in the Hubert area after State officials were called to the death of a horse with a presumptive diagnosis of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) as the cause of death.
The four-year-old horse was at a self-boarded facility when it was found down. Samples were taken to the State lab and the presumptive diagnosis was made.
Onslow officials were notified and immediately began additional mosquito control measures. In addition, traps were set for mosquitoes and those collected are being sent to the Centers for Disease Control to test for the presence of Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
EEE virus is a rare cause of brain infections (encephalitis). Only a few cases in humans are reported in the United States each year according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The deceased horse had not been vaccinated, and some of the other horses at the site were also not vaccinated. A clinic has offered to help vaccinate the individually owned horses as a protection against the disease. Onslow County officials strongly encourage horse owners to vaccinate their animals.
Onslow County Health Director Kristen Richmond-Hoover indicate that for residents, it is important that to take personal action to be protected from mosquito Bites. See the CDC guidance here.
Two other cases of EEE have been reported in the state, with the closest being in Pender County.
Onslow officials continue to cooperate with state officials in the investigation and suggested actions for mitigation.