MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The Mobile County Health Department confirms several area horses have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
Dr. Scott Owens, a veterinarian at Animal Care of Mobile County in Semmes said he has seen some serious cases of the mosquito-borne disease in recent weeks.
"Since the 29th of June I've seen three cases and I'd say in 25 years of practicing in Mobile County I've never been called out to that many in that short a period of time."
Click here for more information about EEE
The infected horses, which he said had to be put down, were located in different areas.
One case was reported in Axis, AL, a second in Eight Mile, and the third along Celeste road in the Turnerville area.
Like West Nile Virus, he said it is a cause for concern adding that EEE is more dangerous and at least in horses far more deadly.
"The mortality rate is much higher. As much as 90 % of the horses infected will die. If they're not properly vaccinated they are at risk," he said.
Officials at the Mobile County Health Department said since June three sentinel chickens also tested positive for EEE.
No human cases have been reported.
Health officials insist that horse owners need to take extra steps to make sure their horses are properly vaccinated.
Officials said it is less common for humans to be infected by EEE, but insist you should always take extra precautions when heading outside among mosquitoes.
Click here for tips to prevent infection.
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