By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
Maine officials reported a positive test for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in a horse in York County.
The horse, which was not vaccinated against the disease, was euthanized.
EEE causes inflammation of the brain tissue and has a significantly higher risk of death in horses than West Nile Virus infection. West Nile virus is a viral disease that affects horses’ neurological system. The disease is transmitted by a mosquito bite. The virus cycles between birds and mosquitoes with horses and humans being incidental hosts. EEE infections in horses are not a significant risk factor for human infection because horses (like humans) are considered to be “dead-end” hosts for the virus.
This is the first case of a horse contracting EEE in Maine since 2013.