CHESAPEAKE, Va (WVEC) — A horse has died after contracting the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus, according to Chesapeake health officials.

Experts didn’t confirm where the horse contracted the disease but said it happened in a farm area.

“But, I'm letting you know we do have those mosquitoes in the city where people are,” said Lisa Engle, an Epidemiologist with the Chesapeake Health Department. “A horse is a barometer of what's going on out there. If a horse has EEE it does mean these mosquitoes are out there that can infect humans, too."

The virus is not likely to show symptoms in humans, Engle said.

There was also a recent horse death because of the mosquito-borne disease in Suffolk. The news has other horse owners reacting.

“I feel sorry for the people. There's just not much you can do,” said Lee Markley, a horse stable owner in Chesapeake. "There's Eastern and Western Equine Encephalitis. So we vaccinate against both of those twice a year. We spray when needed."

Chesapeake health officials also said city workers are constantly spraying. According to Engle, August and September are prime times for mosquitoes.

Officials hope the public will remember to cover up and empty water from around homes in prevention efforts.

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