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Health

Maine Confirms First Human Case of EEE Virus

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Joaquim Alves Gaspar
/
Wikimedia Commons

Maine has confirmed its first human case of the sometimes-fatal disease known as Eastern Equine Encephalitis - or EEE. State health officials say a York County resident became ill with the virus in late August and was hospitalized. That person, who has not been identified, is now recovering at home, state officials say.

The virus has been detected in 22 mosquito pools in York County so far, and in an emu in Cumberland County, but it's the first time EEE has been identified in a Maine resident, says Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Sheila Pinette.

Pinette says blood samples collected Oct. 1 tested positive for EEE at a commercial laboratory, and tested positive again at Maine's Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory on Oct. 9. The sample has been sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control for further confirmation, Pinette says.

Pinette is urging people to take steps to avoid mosquito bites, such as wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants and socks when outdoors, and using an EPA-approved insect repellent.

Read the Health Alert from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.