EEE Detected in Mosquitoes in Alfred, Maine - NECN

EEE Detected in Mosquitoes in Alfred, Maine



    EEE detected in mosquitoes in Alfred, Maine

    It's the earliest eastern equine encephalitis has ever shown up in the state (Published Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014)

    (NECN: Amy Sinclair) - Maine's Center For Disease Control has issued a Health Alert following the discovery of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, better known as EEE, in mosquitoes in the town of Alfred.

    This is the earliest EEE has ever shown up in Maine.

    A batch of mosquitoes that was collected on July 16 at a test site somewhere in Alfred tested positive for the virus, which can be fatal when contracted by humans.

    "We don't really know why we're seeing it early. We do know in the past that we started seeing it in August. We think it may have something to with a lot of rain, and the different climate we're having," says Maine CDC Director Sheila Pinette.

    The earlier the virus shows up, the greater the chance of exposure for people and animals.

    Pinette says while there's no need for panic, people in Southern Maine should take precautions.

    These include:
    -Limiting outdoor time at dawn and dusk.
    -Removing standing water.
    -Fixing torn screens.
    -Using repellent with Deet.
    -Covering up.

    People who spend time in mosquito infested areas should pay close attention if they have sudden symptoms.

    "If you have been outside and you start to feel ill, tired, have a fever, or severe headaches, then you need to start to enter into a conversation with your primary care provider about getting tested," cautioned Pinette.

    As the owner of Bunganut Campground, Ed Sanborn says he always checks for standing water, but hopes he won't have to resort to spraying.

    "I'm not big on using chemicals on the grounds here, but I suppose if it got bad enough, I'd have to do something," Sanborn said.

    The Ledoux family says they have no plans to keep Cameron, 3, or Owen, 2, indoors.

    "It's on my mind. But I don't focus on the virus, or say you can't play outside because there are mosquitoes," says Amy Ledoux. "Life goes on."

    With cooler August nights on the way, they're hoping nature will take a bite out of the remaining mosquito population so they can relax and enjoy the rest of their vacation.