YORK COUNTY (WGME) — The first case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Maine was confirmed Friday in a horse in York County, according to the Maine Centers for Disease Control.
The positive test in the horse, which was not vaccinated, was the first in a horse in Maine since 2013.
“This positive result confirms that mosquitoes carrying the virus are present in Maine, which is the reason why Maine CDC urges the state’s residents and visitors to take precautions to protect themselves and their animals from mosquito bites,” Maine CDC Director Nirav D. Shah said. “We want everyone to take precautions while enjoying themselves this holiday weekend.”
The horse was euthanized.
EEE is a virus transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. The virus can affect human beings bitten by mosquitoes carrying EEE but not from infected animals.
Several cases of EEE have been diagnosed recently in New England, and CDC officials issued a warning recently for Maine residents.
Maine has not seen a EEE case involving a human since 2015.
The Maine CDC advises residents and visitors to protect themselves, their children, and animals by minimizing outdoor activity from dusk to dawn, when mosquitoes are most active. If outdoor activity is unavoidable, take personal precautions to prevent mosquito bites by following these tips.
Use an EPA-approved repellent
Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants
Treat clothing and gear with Permethrin
Take steps to control mosquitoes around your property by emptying artificial sources of standing water, fixing holes in screens, and working with a pesticide control applicator.
CDC officials said animal owners should be aware of:
An EEE/WNV vaccine for horses is available.
Horses that have not been EEE/WNV vaccinated in the past six months should get either an initial vaccine or a booster as soon as possible.
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