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Montevideo, March 4th 2024 - 23:57 UTC



First human case of equine encephalomyelitis in Uruguay

Wednesday, January 31st 2024 - 10:50 UTC
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The equine viral disease has expanded to most of the Uruguayan territory The equine viral disease has expanded to most of the Uruguayan territory

Uruguay's Public Health Ministry reported on Tuesday the first human-positive case of western equine encephalomyelitis, while the number of infected dead horses has reached 261 and the viral disease has now extended to eighteen of nineteen counties, according to the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry.

This first case involves a man living in a rural area of San Jose, some 120 kilometers east of Montevideo, and was first diagnosed last December but only confirmed this week,

“The viral circulation confirmed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock among horses from different counties, made the episode of a first human case highly expectable as has happened in other countries”, said the Health ministry in a release adding that “the evolution of the patient so far is favorable, and the only case reported.”

Health minister, Karina Rando underlined that the vector generating the disease among humans in the mosquito and called for the elimination of potential breeding areas such as stagnant water, making ample use of repellents and the use adequate clothing”

The ministry of Agriculture and Livestock reported that a total of 261 horses have been reported dead with the confirmed symptoms of encephalomyelitis since last December, and has since requested more funds for the acquisition of a new batch of vaccines.

The ministry also revealed that some 554 farms had been surveyed with a population of 15.679 equines, and so the number of sick animals represents 0,25% of the troop and 0,08%, of dead animals.

Finally the morbidity of the disease is 6,33%, mortality 1,96% and the lethality, 30,95%, which represents a slight increase from the previous survey last December.

The encephalomyelitis episode first emerged in Argentina with some 338 outbreaks and 21 human contagions, until mid January. according to the Pan American Health Organization

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