BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain is urging owners to vaccinate their horses after five horses, so far this year, have died as a result of Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
KATC-TV reported four of the horses were in Tangipahoa Parish. The fifth one was in Washington Parish.
Strain said while the deceased horses may have been vaccinated in the past, none was up to date on their vaccinations.
While there are no reports of West Nile Virus in horses at this time, Strain that is also a threat.
The mosquito-transmitted diseases can cause inflammation or swelling of the brain and spinal cord. Infected horses may show lethargy, weakness, paralysis, neurological symptoms and death.
Prevention includes avoiding mosquitoes, using mosquito repellants that are safe for horses and humans, and vaccination for horses.