Donald E Hoenig, VMD, is author to a new blog for Maine farmers called Made in Maine: Thoughts on Food, Animals and Agriculture. His most recent blog post, Don’t Forget to Vaccinate Your Horse (and Protect Yourself), describes the signs and symptoms of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), how it is transmitted, and what to do to protect your horses and yourself.
Dr. Hoenig retired as the Maine State Veterinarian in 2012 and, after completing a year-long Congressional Fellowship in Sen. Susan Collins’ office in Washington DC last year, in January 2014 he started working as a part-time Extension Veterinarian for University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Submit questions and comments to email@example.com. Answers to selected questions will appear in future blog posts.
Image Description: blood-filled mosquito
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.