August 30, 2013

More mosquitoes in Maine infected with EEE

The Associated Press

AUGUSTA — The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention says eastern equine encephalitis, a potentially fatal disease in humans, has been confirmed in more mosquito pools in Alfred, as well as in York.

click image to enlarge

Cattail mosquitoes are seen in a petri dish. Cattail mosquitoes can transmit eastern equine encephalitis to humans.

2010 Associated Press File Photo

Dr. Sheila Pinette, director of Maine CDC, says additional positive tests are likely.

EEE was first identified from mosquitoes collected from a pool in Alfred on July 16, marking the earliest the disease has been confirmed in Maine. It's also been confirmed in neighboring states.

The virus is transmitted from the bite of an infected mosquito.

So far, there's never been a human infected in Maine but the disease was found in a flock of pheasants last year and in multiple animals in Maine in 2009. Health officials recommend bug repellent and clothing to protect against mosquito bites.

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