Ohio vet confirms deadly horse virus in Ashtabula Co.

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Forshey says the virus also can cause serious illness in people and other animals such as poultry and deer

Three horses standing in a field.

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (AP) – State officials say the Eastern equine encephalitis virus has been found in a horse in Ohio.

Ohio Department of Agriculture State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Forshey says the confirmed case was in northeastern Ohio’s Ashtabula County.

Forshey says the disease is transmitted to horses by mosquitoes and attacks a horse’s central nervous system. It’s usually fatal to the affected animal. Symptoms include unsteadiness, erratic behavior, a marked loss of coordination and seizures.

Forshey says the virus also can cause serious illness in people.

CNN says a Massachusetts woman died after contracting the virus from a mosquito bite.

State officials say there have been no reports of any human cases associated with the latest outbreak in Ohio.

Other animals such as poultry and deer can contract the disease.

Forshey urges horse owners to contact a licensed veterinarian to ensure that their horses’ vaccinations and boosters are up to date.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story showed horses in a local horse barn, which were not associated with the Eastern equine encephalitis virus that had been found in Ohio. The photo has been changed, and we regret using it.

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