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 resident of Cumberland County recently contracted a mosquito-borne illness, likely West Nile virus (WNV).
The individual is hospitalized, a press release noted, and this is the first case of a locally acquired mosquito-borne arboviral illness 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 is part of a group of viruses that includes Dengue, Saint Louis Encephalitis, Yellow Fever, and Zika.
Maine has not detected WNV in mosquito collections this year, but New Hampshire and Massachusetts have reported positive WNV activity in mosquitoes this summer and fall, the release stated. Maine CDC tests mosquitoes for EEE and WNV throughout the summer months, starting in July. Find weekly mosquito surveillance reports at maine.gov/dhhs/arboviral-surveillance.
Maine CDC reminds residents and visitors to avoid mosquito bites and remain vigilant throughout the rest of the season. Mosquitoes may still be active when the temperature is above 50 degrees and until the second heavy 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 clothes
Take extra precautions at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active
Use screens on windows and doors
Drain artificial sources of standing water, where mosquitoes lay eggs
Vaccinate horses against Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and WNV
For more information:
Visit Maine CDC's vectorborne disease webpage at www.maine.gov/dhhs/vectorborne.
Visit Maine CDC's West Nile virus FAQ page.
To find information on pesticides and repellents, visit the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry at: www.maine.gov/dacf/php/gotpests/bugs/mosquito.htm.
View videos on mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases on Maine CDC's YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/MainePublicHealth.