Sheep may have died from EEE - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sheep may have died from EEE

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July 27, 2003

Colquitt County- Joyce Burns only knew her pet sheep Samson for about a month, but she says he was healthy. When the three month old Barbados black-bellied sheep got sick two months ago she didn't know what was wrong.

"Right when we got in the yard I noticed that he was laying down and his head was back. I ran to him and I noticed blood all around his water bowl. We ran and called the vet immediately and he was already dying," remembers Burns.

Three days later she had to put Samson down. Saturday Burns received test results in the mail saying Samson had died of encephalitis.

"They haven't really had a presumptive diagnosis for equine, but people really need to know that they need to protect themselves," she says.

That's why she's makes sure to use bug repellant when outdoors, and she's urging everyone else to do the same.

"It's just not acceptable that people are so complacent that they don't protect themselves. They don't care," adds Burns.

Until she finds out if it was Eastern Equine Encephalitis that killed Samson, Burns warns all South Georgians to be safe, rather than sorry.

There have been two confirmed human cases of Easter Equine Encephalitis in the state this year, but there have been reported 32 cases of horses and 10 birds with the virus.

Posted at 5:40 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com