While dry weather is making wildfires a constant concern for horse owners out west, the wet weather is increasing the threat of contracting Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile virus in New England.
This week, EEE was detected in York County (Maine) mosquitoes. It’s a nasty brain infection that’s usually fatal among unvaccinated horses.
Says Dr. Dave Jefferson of Maine Equine Associates:
“We are especially concerned about encephalitis this year. We’ve had plenty of rain which means standing pools of water with rapid mosquito multiplication.”
In 2009, 15 Maine horses died of the virus. None were vaccinated.
Less often, it can affect humans. Last year, two Vermont men died of EEE.
- Get your horses vaccinated.
- And for yourself: wear bug dope, long shirt sleeves and pants, avoid hanging out in wet areas, especially at dawn and dusk.