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Fatal EEE case confirmed in wolf at Binder Park Zoo

Posted: 11:26 AM, Sep 24, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-24 11:27:09-04

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Officials have confirmed a case of Eastern equine encephalitis in a wolf pup at Binder Park Zoo.

The zoo says a Mexican gray wolf pup died the first weekend in September and was found to have EEE. Test results are pending on a second pup that died the following day, but the wolf was born with a congenital liver abnormality that could have played a role in its death.

The surviving parents and another pup appear healthy and are being closely monitored by staff.

Staff veterinarian Dr. Jim Thompson said EEE infections are “very, very rare” in canines but there have been reported cases in domesticated puppies in the past.

EEE is a rare mosquito-born illness with a 33% mortality rate for people who become ill. There have been confirmed cases in counties across southwest Michigan, prompting schedule changes for school events.

People are advised to protect themselves by wearing long sleeves and pants and using insect repellent with DEET. Symptoms of EE include fever chills and body aches, and severe cases can cause headaches, disorientation, tremors, seizures, brain damage, coma and death.