Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is a preventable, but fatal, disease. Horses (and other equine species) are the most sensitive to the disease, but other domestic animals, including llamas and alpacas and some bird species, can be affected by EEE. Unfortunately, this disease can also affect humans — if they are bitten by mosquitoes that carry the virus. Learn more about the transmission and prevention of EEE in Bulletin #1003, Preventing Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) Virus in Maine. Printed color copies can be ordered from the UMaine Extension Publications Catalog.
Image Description: 3 horses in pasture; photo by C. Eves-Thomas
Maine CDC has just announced (August, 2013) that the virus causing Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) has been detected from mosquitoes trapped near Alfred, Maine, which is south of Portland. Mosquito-trapping is a monitoring method to see whether mosquitoes are carrying viruses that can cause disease (such as EEE or West Nile encephalitis; WNV) in people and animals, if bitten by infected mosquitoes. It’s not unexpected to see EEE in mosquitoes this time of year, but it’s a good indication for using even better protection against mosquito bites. As well, be sure to check your horses’ vaccination status; horses are very sensitive to EEE and WNV, but these diseases are easily prevented with a good vaccination schedule. Check with your vet to be sure your horses’ vaccines are current.
Channel 2 (WLBZ) interviewed University of Maine Cooperative Extension veterinarian Anne Lichtenwalner and UMaine Extension pest management specialist Jim Dill for a report about West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), which are spread by mosquitoes. Lichtenwalner, director of the UMaine Animal Health Laboratory, discussed ways to protect horses from EEE. Dill said EEE has been reported in Massachusetts and mosquitoes in New Hampshire have tested positive for WNV, and that Maine residents should reduce wet breeding grounds for mosquitoes as a precaution. The Kennebec Journal also interviewed Lichtenwalner for a report about the mosquito-borne diseases.