AUGUSTA – As mosquito activity increases over the summer months, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) urges residents and visitors to take precautions against exposure to mosquitoes and mosquito bites. In Maine, mosquitoes spread diseases including Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEE), Jamestown Canyon virus (JCV), and West Nile virus (WNV).
Many infected people show no symptoms. Others experience mild flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, and weakness. Some people may experience severe symptoms, including:
- Neck stiffness
- Loss of coordination
- Speech difficulties
If untreated, some infections can lead to death. If you experience any of these symptoms following a mosquito bite, call a health care provider immediately.
The best protection against all mosquito-borne diseases is to prevent mosquito bites. Maine CDC recommends:
- Wearing 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 where mosquitoes can lay eggs
- Taking steps to prevent mosquito bites when traveling
To protect your pets from mosquito bites, speak to your animal’s veterinarian. If you have horses, inquire about vaccinations against EEE and WNV.
Maine CDC tests mosquitoes for EEE and WNV throughout the summer months, beginning in July. Weekly arboviral surveillance reports for this season will begin later this month and historical reports are available at www.maine.gov/dhhs/vectorborne.
For more information:
- Visit Maine CDC’s vector-borne disease webpage.
- View answers to frequently asked questions about mosquito-borne diseases.
- Find information on insect repellents