State veterinarian: 4 horses die of virus in Ohio

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state veterinarian says four horses in northeast Ohio have died of eastern equine encephalitis, a mosquito-borne illness that also can affect humans.

Dr. Tony Forshey (for-SHEE') says the horses were from Ashtabula and Trumbull counties. He's urging horse owners to contact their veterinarians to ensure that animals' EEE vaccines and boosters are up to date.

The virus attacks an animal's central nervous system. Symptoms can include erratic behavior, loss of coordination and seizures. It can cause serious illness in other animals as well as humans.

Ohio's departments of agriculture and health say they are monitoring the outbreak.

The state says there are no confirmed human cases associated with the illness in Ohio. Officials are encouraging residents to protect themselves by using mosquito repellant and getting rid of standing water.

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