An epizootic of eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (PWRC), Laurel, Maryland (USA), in 1989 provided an opportunity to determine if EEE immunization protected whooping cranes (Grus americana). Based on seroconversion of 31% of sympatric hatch-year sandhill cranes, Grus canadensis, and a previous 35% case fatality rate in whooping cranes, 17 (37%) of the 46 susceptible whooping cranes should have been exposed to virus and six should have died. As there were no deaths in these birds, the EEE vaccination program appeared to be efficacious in this whooping crane population.
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Vol. 33 • No. 2