Llama Death Not Suspicious

TRENTON — The llama that died here last week after exhibiting symptoms similar to those of eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) did not, in fact, have the disease, according to state veterinarian Dr. Donald Hoenig.


He said the animal tested negative for the EEE virus.

That finding means there have been no known cases of the deadly mosquito-borne infection in Hancock County during the current outbreak in Maine that began in early August when a horse in Waldo County contracted the disease.

So far, EEE has been confirmed in the deaths of nine horses in Maine, and it is suspected in four others. The disease is nearly always fatal in horses.

Dr. Hoenig said llamas and alpacas are susceptible to EEE, as are mules and donkeys, but there is no evidence that other farm animals or household pets are at risk.

“Birds are another matter,” Dr. Hoenig said.

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