Published: Thu, August 30, 2018
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

West Nile virus detected in southern ME mosquito pool

West Nile virus detected in southern ME mosquito pool

A resident of west Gulfport has tested positive for the West Nile virus, prompting mosquito control officials to step up efforts to kill mosquitoes within a one-mile radius of Milner Stadium, an official says.

Maine Center for Disease and Prevention on Wednesday said a group of between one and 50 mosquitoes collected August 21 in Kittery tested positive for the virus.

There have also been 22 human cases of West Nile confirmed to date for 2018 with two residents contracting the virus in the Will and DuPage County portions of Aurora. While most people infected with the mosquito-borne virus show no symptoms, others can develop fever, headache, body aches and stiffness. The person was hospitalized and is recovering.

West Nile is spread through mosquito bites, and the peak season for it is late summer and early fall.

West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus are carried by mosquitoes, which pick it up from infected birds.

They can not be transmitted from human to human or animal to human.

Dusk/Dawn - Mosquitoes carrying WNV usually bite at dusk and dawn, so avoid or limit outdoor activity at these times.

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Use Insect Repellent: When used as directed, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women. These are the conditions when mosquitoes are most actively biting.

Dress - Wear loose-fitting, long sleeved shirts and trousers to reduce the amount of exposed skin.

- Drain artificial sources of standing water where you live, work and play.

Doors - Make sure doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly, and fix torn or damaged screens to keep mosquitoes out of the house.

Additionally, there has been one confirmed case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) which resulted in death.

"West Nile is widespread throughout the United States right now", said state epidemiologist Dr. Siiri Bennett.

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