Published Date Written by Staff Report
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed the presence of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in a mosquito pool from the town of York in York County, marking the second mosquito pool from Maine to test positive for EEE this year.
Additional positive tests are likely, according to Dr. Sheila Pinette, director of Maine CDC.
"We still have plenty of warm weather ahead in the next few weeks and this increases the possibility of additional positive pools," she said.
EEE is a virus that is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can cause serious illness in humans, large animals like horses and some species of birds. Maine confirmed EEE in a flock of pheasants during 2012 and experienced unprecedented EEE activity during 2009 with multiple animals and mosquito pools testing positive for the virus, the Maine CDC reported.
Regionally, all surrounding states have also identified EEE in 2013 including mosquito pools in New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. Two horses have tested positive for EEE in Massachusetts as well.
"EEE is a very serious illness," said State Epidemiologist Dr. Stephen Sears, "Mainers need to take appropriate precautions against mosquitoes to prevent this illness."
Maine CDC recommended the use of an Environmental Protection Agency-approved repellent when outdoors, especially around dawn and dusk; wearing protective clothing when outdoors, including long-sleeved shirts, pants and socks; keeping window and door screens down to keep mosquitoes out of the home; limiting time spent outdoors at dawn and dusk when many species of mosquitoes are most active; and removing containers holding water in and around the home, as water can attract mosquitoes.