A deadly virus is being spread through mosquitoes is making its way across to Ohio. The disease called Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or “Triple-E”, has claimed three lives in Michigan. Health officials have said that they are monitoring the situation closely.
Stephanie Green who boards 36 horses at her stables in Fairfield County says that she is concerned for the health of her horses.
They are very susceptible to illnesses and so are vaccinated every year. There is a seven way vaccine which is annually injected into them.
This year, she must take even more precautions.
Three horses have been infected by the Triple-E virus according to Dr. Tony Forshey, the state vet with the Ohio Department of Agriculture. He says that the virus circulated in the bloodstream of the animal before going into the brain and causing swelling. Thereafter, it is only death that takes them out of their misery.
It is caused by mosquitoes and can affect humans as well as horses. Twenty cases of human beings being affected by this virus have already emerged including three deaths in the state of Michigan. But no human cases have emerged in Ohio.
Public health officials have been alerted to tell their clients to protect themselves from mosquito bites. The chances of contracting the Triple-E virus are still lower than contracting West Nile Virus.
According to some doctors the Triple-E virus is more dangerous than the West Nile but is quite rare. According to the health department, the habitat in Ohio is not quite right for the Triple-E virus to amplify. This is found more in swampy areas such as Michigan, North Carolina, Massachusetts etc.
The best way to protect oneself from the virus is to stay away from mosquito bites. Citizens are advised not to go out during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are very active.
Wearing long sleeves and pants, and using insect repellent is the way to go.