Eastern Equine Encephalitis Confirmed in Maryland Horse

BALTIMORE (August 16, 2013) – A case of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) has been confirmed in a horse in Worcester County. The horse tested positive for EEE which, like West Nile virus, is spread by mosquitoes. Officials remind Marylanders to take precautions to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites to prevent mosquito-borne diseases.

EEE is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito and can cause a swelling of the brain (encephalitis). The disease is rare in humans, but can occur when an infected mosquito bites a person. EEE disease occurs primarily in areas close to swamps and marshes with high mosquito populations. The last confirmed human case in Maryland was in 1989, and prior to that there were two cases in 1982. The last confirmed case in a horse in Maryland was in 2009 in Wicomico County.

Although EEE occurs in humans less frequently than West Nile virus (WNV), it can be more serious. Only a subset of people infected with either virus develop neurological illness, however of those who develop neurological illness, approximately one-third of all EEE-infected persons may die compared to fewer than 10 percent who die following WNV neurological illness. EEE survivors can have long-term damage to the nervous system.

Typical symptoms of EEE in humans include fever, headache, mental confusion, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, joint pain, and sometimes seizures and coma. Individuals reporting these symptoms should be referred to their health care provider. Symptoms usually occur four to 10 days after exposure to a mosquito carrying the virus. There is neither a specific treatment nor a vaccine available for use in humans infected with EEE virus.

In horses, EEE is a serious disease that can be fatal; however, well vaccinated horses are generally safe from the disease. The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) encourages all horse owners to consult with their veterinarian to discuss the best vaccination program for their horse and its circumstances. The horse in Worcester County had not been vaccinated. Infected horses show a range of clinical signs that often progress over two to three days, including depression, altered mental status, circling, problems with balance, weakness, aimless wandering, impaired vision, walking (gait) abnormalities, head pressing, paralysis, convulsions and death. Horses that survive serious disease often have permanent nervous system deficits.

MDA, working with Worcester County officials, has mapped out a 6,000 acre area in the Whaleyville area where air spraying for mosquitoes will be conducted tonight, beginning at 5 p.m. .

MDA generally checks mosquito populations in the area every week and conducts ground spraying according to its findings. As a result of the EEE discovery, MDA will increase ground spraying activities to approximately every 5 to 7 days over the next two weeks. Spraying will take place between dusk and dawn.

Measures people can take to protect themselves from diseases spread by mosquitoes include:
  • Avoid areas of high mosquito activity
  • Avoid unnecessary outdoor activities at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active
  • Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and hats to reduce mosquito exposure
  • Use an EPA-registered insect repellent according to package directions

For additional information on West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne viruses, visit:
  • Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/OIDEOR/CZVBD/SitePages/west-nile.aspx
  • Maryland Department of Agriculture: http://mda.maryland.gov/plants-pests/Pages/mosquito_control.aspx
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html and http://www.cdc.gov/easternequineencephalitis/
###

Stay connected: www.twitter.com/MarylandDHMH or www.facebook.com/MarylandDHMH

 
 

Substance Abuse Help

 

Zika Information

 

Rabies Information


     

WCHD News

Training available at a discounted cost to county alcohol licensees

(Snow Hill, MD)- The Worcester County Health Department is offering discounted TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures) classes and certification to Worcester County alcohol-licensed establishments. TIPS training is shown to decrease an establishment’s chances of alcohol violation penalties, keep our community safer, and increase customer satisfaction.

Read more ...

Crystal Bell will participate in "Walkable Communities" training program.


Snow Hill, MD - America Walks, a national advocacy organization working to empower communities to create safe, accessible, and enjoyable places to walk, announced today that they are awarding Crystal Bell, of Worcester County Health Department, a Walking College Fellowship as part of the 2018 program. The Fellowship will enable Bell and other advocates from around the country to participate in a five-month training program designed to strengthen local efforts to make communities more walkable and livable.

Read more ...

Cases are on the Rise—Effects can be Harmful and Deadly

Baltimore, MD (April 17, 2018) – The Maryland Department of Health and the Maryland Poison Center have reported the fourth hospitalization in Maryland from individuals experiencing risk of severe bleeding after using synthetic cannabinoids, which are often called Spice, K2, Bliss, Scooby Snax, or fake weed. 

Read more ...

Click on an event below to register for that event and get more info:

 

 

Fatalities related to intoxication down in Somerset, Worcester and Wicomico in 2017

Snow Hill, MD- Deaths related to drug and alcohol intoxication, including opioid overdoses, are down in Worcester, Wicomico and Somerset Counties, according to 3rd Quarter 2017 Overdose Data released by the Maryland Department of Health last week. From January through September 2016, compared to the same period in 2017, intoxication fatalities are down 20-percent in Somerset County, 42-percent in Worcester County, and 32-percent in Wicomico County. The drop-off in the Tri-County region comes at a time when overall drug and alcohol related deaths in Maryland are on the rise.

Read more ...
 Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program