August 20, 2013

EEE virus found in York mosquito sampling

Experts expect more mosquitoes to test positive for the dangerous virus before summer ends.

By North Cairn ncairn@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

A Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito is shown on a human finger in this undated handout photograph from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Maine CDC and Prevention has confirmed the presence of the eastern equine encephalitis virus in a sampling of mosquitoes collected in York, the second sampling in the state to test positive for the disease this year. (REUTERS/James Gathany/Center For Disease Control/Handout)

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"EEE is a very serious illness," said Dr. Stephen Sears, state epidemiologist, in a statement. "Mainers need to take appropriate precautions against mosquitoes to prevent this illness."

There have been no reported cases of West Nile virus -- often associated in the public mind with EEE because both are spread by mosquitoes -- in Maine this year.

"We're a little surprised by that," said Pinette, adding that 2012 was a particularly bad year for West Nile nationwide.

The first documented case of West Nile infection in Maine was last year.

Maine CDC recommends preventive measures to protect against EEE and other mosquito-borne illnesses:

• Limit time outdoors at dawn and dusk when many species of mosquitoes are most active.

• Keep screens on windows and use screen doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home.

• Remove containers holding water in and around the home, as standing water can attract mosquitoes.

• Wear protective clothing when outdoors, including long-sleeved shirts, pants and socks.

• Use an Environmental Protection Agency-approved repellent when outdoors, especially around dawn and dusk. Always follow the instructions on the product's label.

North Cairn can be contacted at 791-6325 or at:

ncairn@pressherald.com

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