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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Regional
Review / DEVELOPMENTS IN ORANGE, RIVECOUNTIES

Rare Encephalitis Found in Death of Horse

May 20, 2000

VENTURA COUNTY — Public health officials with the county warn that a horse in the Moorpark area died last month of a form of encephalitis, rare in the West, that can be fatal to humans when transmitted by mosquitoes.

Scientists believe the horse was infected with eastern equine encephalitis virus, the first reported infection west of the Mississippi and Texas.

Mosquitoes that were found near the horse's stable tested negative for the virus, which leads health officials to believe that the threat to people and other horses in the county is minimal.

Officials said they were not sure where the horse contracted the virus, but it recently appeared at shows in Utah and two other locations in California. The horse and 27 others in the stable had been vaccinated the week before with a vaccine that included the eastern equine encephalitis virus. None of the other horses has become ill.

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