Horse in Rhode Island Tests Positive for Rare EEE Virus

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Environmental officials in Rhode Island have confirmed that a horse in Westerly tested positive for the Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management said Thursday that the six-month-old horse was too young to be vaccinated for the virus.

The department says the virus was also detected in a mosquito at Chapman Swamp in Westerly on Aug. 19, the third positive finding this year in mosquito samples. The other two were in Central Falls, Rhode Island.

Officials are advising residents to take extra precautions to prevent mosquito bites.

In neighboring Massachusetts, there have been four confirmed human cases of the virus this year, one of them fatal. Massachusetts health officials have also confirmed seven cases in horses.

The rare virus can cause brain infections.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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