West Nile Virus Detected In Maine Mosquito Pool

Aug 29, 2018

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that West Nile Virus has been detected for the first time this year in a pool of mosquitoes collected in Kittery.

The announcement follows the news that an adult from Cumberland County tested positive for the virus this week, the state's first human case since 2015.

Until today Wednesday Maine was thought to be one of just three states with no West Nile cases in either humans or other animals.

"Federal CDC keeps a tabulation and a map that actually shows from around the United States where the cases have been occurring.”

But, says Dr. Sirii Bennett with Maine CDC, there's no predictable pattern to where West Nile crops up. With summer travel, she says, the virus could be picked up almost anywhere unless precautions are taken.

"West Nile Virus is one of those things that there's not specific treatment for it, so your best protection is not to get bitten in the first place."

Bennett suggests using approved insect repellents and wearing long sleeves and pants, avoiding being outdoors during the twilight hours when mosquitoes are most active, and draining standing water where mosquitoes breed.