This is the earliest in the season that Maine has identified EEE; previously the earliest detection was in the beginning of August. Last year, Maine identified EEE in a flock of pheasants, and had seven mosquito pools test positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). The State also identified its first locally acquired case of WNV in a Maine resident during 2012.
Regionally, other New England states have identified multiple arboviruses this summer. Massachusetts identified EEE in horses and mosquitoes, and WNV in mosquitoes. New Hampshire identified WNV in mosquitoes, and Powassan virus and Jamestown Canyon virus in a human. Vermont identified EEE and WNV in mosquitoes.
Maine CDC recommends the following preventative measures to protect against EEE, WNV, and other mosquito-borne illnesses:
- Use an EPA approved repellent when outdoors, especially around dawn and dusk – always follow the instructions on the product’s label
- Wear protective clothing when outdoors, including long-sleeved shirts, pants, and socks
- Use screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home
- Avoid being outdoors at dawn and dusk when many species of mosquitoes are most active
- Drain artificial (non-natural) sources of standing water