A rare brain disease that mainly strikes horses has infected five people over 60 in northern Florida and killed two of them, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports.
The government health agency said that Eastern equine encephalitis, a mosquito-borne infection frequently found in horses, has left two of three human patients in a coma and the third with impaired nerve functions. The only human cases were reported in three counties of Florida's Panhandle region, but at least 248 horses have been infected in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida, CDC said.
A few equine cases have been reported in North Carolina, Mississippi, Kentucky and New York.
An experimental vaccine is available for human laboratory workers.