AUGUSTA — The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) urges residents and visitors to take precautions against mosquitoes to minimize the risk of exposure to diseases from mosquito bites.
Mosquitoes can spread three viruses in Maine, according to a news release, including the Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEE), Jamestown Canyon virus (JCV), and West Nile virus (WNV).
Many infected people show no symptoms. Others experience fever and flu-like illness. There is no specific treatment available for these diseases. If you experience these symptoms, especially severe symptoms, call your health care provider immediately.
In extreme cases, bites from infected mosquitoes can cause encephalitis, meningitis, and death.
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 EEE and WNV
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.
The risk of mosquito-transmitted diseases such as EEE and WNV usually increases through the late summer and early fall. Mosquitoes are active until the second heavy frost.