Maine CDC urges precautions to avoid mosquito bites
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) announced today that mosquitoes in the York County town of Wells have tested positive for Jamestown Canyon virus (JCV).
This is the first mosquito pool -- a group of one to 50 mosquitoes collected as part of regular testing -- from Maine to test positive for JCV since 2019. There are currently no known human cases of JCV or any other locally-acquired mosquito-borne illnesses in Maine this year.
Besides JCV, mosquitoes in Maine can spread Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEE) and West Nile virus (WNV). These viruses spread through the bite of an infected mosquito and cannot be spread from human to human or human to animal. Many infected people have no symptoms. Others experience fever and flu-like illness. Severe symptoms can occur, including encephalitis, meningitis, and even death. If you experience any of these symptoms call your health care provider.
Maine people and visitors can take steps to protect themselves from JCV, EEE, and WNV, including:
- Wearing loose fitting long sleeves and long pants.
- Using an EPA-approved repellent on skin and clothing.
- Taking extra precautions at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- Using screens on windows and doors.
- Draining artificial sources of standing water around the home such as bird baths, wheelbarrows, and dog bowls, etc., where mosquitoes can lay eggs
- Taking steps to prevent mosquito bites when traveling
- Vaccinate horses against EEE and WNV. There is no vaccine available for JCV.
The Maine CDC tests mosquitoes for EEE and WNV throughout the summer months, starting in July. Maine CDC sends mosquito samples to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for JCV testing. Find mosquito surveillance reports at www.maine.gov/dhhs/vectorborne.
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