Some horses fell unwell in southern Louisiana after Hurricane Laura | to mosquito-borne viruses west facet
Three horses recently tested positive for a potentially fatal mosquito-borne disease in southern Louisiana, raising concerns among state officials about the increase in mosquito numbers due to the recent warm and wet weather.
The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry announced Tuesday that one horse in the Iberville township and two in the Lafourche township recently tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis, a potentially fatal disease that has been transmitted by mosquitoes and humans and others Can make animals sick.
Officials say the recent attack of humid and hot weather across the state has led to more mosquitoes in areas and increased the risk of animals developing diseases that they spread.
“Mosquitoes are currently in place,” said Mike Strain, director of agriculture and forestry, in a statement Tuesday. “The hot and wet conditions exacerbated by storms like Hurricane Laura are increasing the number of mosquitoes that could transmit disease.”
He urged horse owners to vaccinate their animals to prevent them from getting sick.
Encephalitis, commonly known as electrical and electronic equipment, is spread by mosquitoes to other animals, including those in the equine family such as donkeys and mules.
Horses often experience symptoms such as fever, loss of appetite, weakness, loss of coordination, and circling that can sometimes lead to death. On rare occasions, people can develop similar symptoms that are also life-threatening, and they are less protected because no vaccine exists for humans, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Infection.
Only about 5% of people who become infected with electrical and electronic equipment get sick, but children under the age of 13 and older adults appear to be more susceptible to the virus.
Birds carry the disease and pass it on to mosquitoes, which bite and spread other animals, similar to other diseases like West Nile virus, dengue fever, and malaria.
The latest CDC figures show that 38 people fell ill with electrical and electronic equipment in 2019, only two fewer than in the last seven years combined. Two human cases have been confirmed in Louisiana since 2010, with the highest concentration of cases being in the Upper Midwestern and Northeastern states.
LAKE CHARLES – If ever there was any novelty living without air conditioning and fending off mosquitos inside during a muggy September …
Several parishes in southwest Louisiana have started air-spraying mosquitoes after Hurricane Laura landed to eradicate mosquito breeding grounds in swamps and other areas, the LSU AgCenter said last week.
The action followed reports of thick mosquito clouds in hurricane-hit communities and numerous livestock deaths from the insect bites.
Agriculture, forestry, and numerous local mosquito control agencies say people can reduce their risk of mosquito-borne disease by disposing of standing pools of water where the insects breed. People should also use mosquito repellants, wear pants and long sleeves, and avoid the outdoors at dusk and at dawn when the mosquitoes are most active.