HOPEWELL — The Ontario County Public Health Department says it was alerted Friday that a horse in the town of Farmington has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).

According to the health department this is the first time EEE has been documented in a mammal in Ontario County. EEE is a virus transmitted by a certain type of mosquito.

Horse owners should be aware of such symptoms as fever, a change in gait, inability to get up and refusal to eat and contact their veterinarian if these symptoms appear.

Vaccines are available and horse owners can minimize mosquito exposure by eliminating standing water sources and changing trough and bucket water frequently.

Human infection from EEE is rare, although those under 15 years of age or over 50 are most at risk, the health department said. Preventing mosquito bites and removing standing water to help reduce the mosquito population are important measures to take.

The Ontario County Public Health Department is working with the New York State Department of Health and Ag and Markets to spread word about this infection. Enhanced EEE surveillance is also under way in the county, the health department said.

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