Health

Health officials confirm case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus in county

Health officials confirm case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus in county

MOREHEAD CITY — A case of mosquito-borne Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus has recently been identified in a horse in Carteret County. An eight-year-old mare was euthanized after contracting the EEE virus.

Other cases of EEE virus have been identified across the state since the beginning of July. No human cases of EEE have been identified in North Carolina so far this year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, EEE is a rare disease that is caused by a virus spread by infected mosquitoes. EEE virus is one of a group of mosquito-transmitted viruses that can cause inflammation of the brain, also known as encephalitis.

Only a few cases of people infected by EEE are reported in the United States each year. Most cases occur in the Atlantic and Gulf Coast states. Most years, no human cases are reported in North Carolina, but in the years when one or more cases are reported, they tend to be from the eastern part of the state where the virus is normally passed back and forth between wild birds and mosquitoes.