SC horse found to have virus that can be deadly to humans

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ST. HELENA ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — A horse that died in South Carolina this month tested positive for a mosquito-borne virus that can be deadly to humans.

The Island Packet reports the 5-year-old gelding’s body was found near a herd of wild ponies on Nov. 8 on St. Helena Island. The state veterinarian office said this was Beaufort County’s first case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Symptoms include brain swelling and seizures. There is no human vaccine for the disease, which is deadly in about a third of human cases.

Beaufort County Mosquito Control director sprayed the area and captured mosquitoes didn’t carry the virus. State and federal agencies say there have been fewer than 160 human cases over the past 35 years. Resident Venaye McGlashan cares for the ponies and is considering having them vaccinated.