Deadly Virus Has Potential to Spread to Animals & Humans
Eastern equine encephalitis, or Triple E, has been found in the state's moose population and could spread.
The DNR was not aware the virus, which causes severe harm to neurological systems, was present in the state until last year's hunter moose harvest. The state's moose population is declining and the DNR is not sure why. So it's planning to test moose to see what role, if any, Triple E is playing in moose deaths.
Triple E can be spread from animals to people via mosquitos. However, human cases are extremely rare. While there has never been a documented human case in Minnesota, the virus has impacted the state's horses.
In 2001, three equine cases were reported.
In 2012, one equine case was reported.
Besides testing dead moose, the state is also testing 35,000 mosquitos it captured last year for Triple E.
Learn more about the virus here: http://www.cdc.gov/easternequineencephalitis/