Maine CDC Press Release
July 13, 2017
It's Mosquito Season in Maine
The Maine CDC reminds Mainers to take the necessary precautions to avoid potential diseases carried by mosquitoes
AUGUSTA – Summer is here, which means the arrival of mosquito season in Maine. Following recent identification of a case of Jamestown Canyon virus in the state, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) wants to raise awareness about arboviral diseases, including Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), and West Nile virus (WNV), which are serious infections that are transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. Although rare, these diseases have potentially severe and even fatal consequences for those who contract them.
Jamestown Canyon virus is a relatively rare disease that can be carried by multiple mosquitoes including mosquito species that are present here in Maine. The case involved a mature adult from Kennebec County who had symptom onset in early June. The case required hospitalization but the individual is recovering at home. Symptoms of arboviral illnesses include fever and flu-like illness, and can result in encephalitis or meningitis. Jamestown Canyon virus as well as the two more well-known diseases—West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis —are viruses transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. They cannot be transmitted from human to human or animal to human.
"This case reminds us all that mosquitoes are more than a nuisance, but they can also carry disease," said State Epidemiologist, Dr. Siiri Bennett. "Prevention is key if Mainers are going to protect themselves from mosquito-borne diseases."
Steps Mainers can take to protect themselves from mosquito bites include:
• Wear long sleeves and long pants
• Use an EPA approved repellent on skin and clothes - always follow the instructions on the label
• Take extra precautions at dusk and dawn
• Use screens on your windows and doors
• Drain artificial sources of standing water where you live, work, and play
The risk for being bitten by a mosquito is highest from dusk to dawn and when temperatures are above 50 degrees (and especially above 60 degrees). These are the conditions when mosquitoes are most actively biting.
The mosquitoes that carry EEE and WNVs pick it up from infected wild birds. The virus replicates in birds, which act as natural reservoirs for the disease. Maine tests mosquitoes for EEE and WNV starting in July and continuing through the summer months.
Maine CDC provides information on mosquito-borne disease surveillance in Maine on a weekly basis. These reports are posted every Monday beginning July 17th through mid-October at www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/epi/vector-borne/arboviral-surveillance.shtml
For More Information:
• Maine CDC's vectorborne disease website: www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/epi/vector-borne/index.shtml
• Information on pesticides and repellents is available at the Maine Board of Pesticides Control website at: www.maine.gov/agriculture/pesticides/public/index.htm#mosquito
• Check out our videos on mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases at Maine CDC's YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/MainePublicHealth