While the director of the Maine Center for Disease Control, Dr. Sheila Pinette, would not release the exact location of the latest horse death except to state it was Somerset County, Fairfield officials did confirm one horse died in late September in Fairfield.
The actual numbers of animals that have died of EEE is four – three horses and one emu. There were no known deaths attributed to EEE in Maine during 2012.
No human cases have been reported. Health officials advise caution, such as wearing bug spray, until the first hard frost kills mosquitoes.
The fact that Maine had active cases of infected mosquitoes was made known to the general public on September 19.
While there is a vaccine to protect horses from EEE, none has as yet been developed for the human population.
Pinette issued a firm warning that individuals should not attempt to vaccinate themselves with the horse vaccine since it will cause medical complications and problems in the human. The fact that horses have contracted EEE is a signpost of infected mosquitoes and must be taken seriously. All horses should be vaccinated or given booster shots.
People should know that EEE is only transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito and cannot be spread from horse to people. Everyone should be particularly cautious of mosquitoes, especially during the most dangerous hours between dusk to dawn.
Continue to live your life, but just use caution and be prepared. The threat in the Northeast is reduced when cold weather comes, killing the mosquitoes.
The National Weather Service does not foresee any frosts during the next week in New England.
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Read article and watch video about the Maine mosquitoes