Maine CDC experiences mosquito chunk illness instances

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AUGUSTA – The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) received confirmation this week from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that an adult Cumberland County resident recently had a mosquito-borne disease is sick, probably West Nile Virus (WNV).

The person is being hospitalized, according to a press release. This marks the first case of locally acquired mosquito-borne arboviral disease in a Maine resident since 2018.

West Nile virus is a potentially serious disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito that can infect humans, birds, horses, and some other mammals. It belongs to a group of viruses that include dengue fever, Saint Louis encephalitis, yellow fever, and Zika.

Maine did not detect WNV in mosquito collections this year, but New Hampshire and Massachusetts reported positive WNV activity in mosquitoes this summer and fall, the press release said. Maine CDC will test mosquitoes for electrical and electronic equipment during the summer months starting July. Weekly reports on mosquito surveillance can be found at maine.gov/dhhs/arboviral-surveillance.

Maine CDC is reminding residents and visitors to avoid mosquito bites and remain vigilant for the remainder of the season. Mosquitoes can still be active when the temperature is above 50 degrees and until the second severe frost.

The best protection against all mosquito-borne diseases is to prevent mosquito bites. To protect yourself from mosquito bites:

Wear long sleeves and long pants

Use an EPA approved repellent on skin and clothing

Take extra precautions at dusk and dawn, when the mosquitoes are most active

Use screens on windows and doors

Drain artificial water sources where mosquitoes will lay eggs

Vaccination horses against Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and WNV

For more informations:

Visit the Maine CDC’s website for vector-borne disease at www.maine.gov/dhhs/vectorborne.

Visit the Maine CDC West Nile Virus FAQ page.

For information about pesticides and repellants, visit the Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry in Maine at: www.maine.gov/dacf/php/gotpests/bugs/mosquito.htm.

Watch mosquito and mosquito-borne disease videos on the Maine CDC YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/MainePublicHealth.

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