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Horse With EEE Euthanized in Oxford County
09/11/2013 03:07 PM ET  

Maine health officials say the horse had been vaccinated for the deadly disease but hadn't received a booster dose.

A horse in Oxford County that had to be euthanized last week has tested positive for Eastern equine encephalitis, or EEE. Maine health officials say the horse had been vaccinated for the disease - and West Nile Virus, another mosquito-borne illness - but hadn't received a booster dose.

The disease, which can also be deadly in humans, is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. This year, eight pools of mosquitoes in York County have tested positive for the virus.

The last time the disease was seen in horses in Maine was in 2009, when 15 horses died of the disease. It's not transmitted directly from horses to people, officials with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention say, but they say people should take precautions against mosquito bites.

"This EEE activity in mosquitoes and horses should serve as a reminder to health care providers that humans are at risk from this disease, as well," says Dr. Sheila Pinette, Director of Maine CDC.

Maine CDC officials recommend that Mainers wear long sleeves and long pants outdoors, especially at dusk and dawn, and use an EPA approved insect repellent. They can also cut down on exposure by using sceens on windows and doors and getting rid of any pools of standing water

Officials also recommend that horses be vaccinated for EEE and West Nile Virus, and that they be given a booster at six months if exposure to mosquitoes is likely.



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