ORONO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The mosquito-borne virus known as West Nile Virus has been reported in several places across the country, and is now knocking on Maine's front door.
The Maine Center for Disease Control issued an advisory two weeks ago to health care professionals across the state. Maine has not been affected by West Nile before, butdoes have a history with another mosquitovirus known as Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). Both viruses cause flu-like symptoms in humans,and can sometimes prove fatal. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 43 states have reported West Nile Virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes this year.A totalof 693 cases have been reported in people, including 26 deaths.
New Hampshire health officials last week reported 18 pools of mosquitoes in the Manchester area tested positive for West Nile. Though no humans have caught the virus in neighboring states, University of Maine Pest Management Specialist Jim Dill says that it's closeness is what caused the advisory. "It seems to be pretty much nationwide," says Dill."The last I knew there wasEEE(Eastern Equine Encephalitis)in Massachusetts and West Nile Virus in New Hampshire. So both of them are knocking on the door of our state."
To prevent yourself from gettingmosquito bites that could potentially cause West Nile Virus, Dill says to eliminate any pools of standing wateroutside where mosquitoes like to breed, always usebug repellent, and try to avoid going outside with short sleeves at dawn or duskwhen mosquitoes are most active.