SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

Three mosquito pools in Maine test positive for eastern equine encephalitis

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday that three mosquito pools in York County tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis (EEE).

The announcement brings the total number of positive tests in 2014 to four.

The Maine CDC urged residents to educate themselves and take necessary steps to avoid the mosquito-borne disease.

"EEE is a very serious illness in humans," Sheila Pinette, the director of the Maine CDC, said. "Mainers must be aware of the risks and take precautions to prevent mosquito bites and protect against EEE and other mosquito-borne illnesses."

The Maine CDC released precautions for residents to protect themselves and their equines from mosquito bites, including wearing long sleeves and pants and using an EPA-approved repellent on skin and clothes. Horses, llamas and emus can also be vaccinated against the disease.

There is currently no EEE vaccine or treatment available for humans.

The Maine CDC and the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry also announced on Thursday that an emu from the Sebago Lake region in Cumberland County tested positive for EEE. The infected animal was not vaccinated.

The Maine CDC said it would provide weekly updates on mosquito-borne disease surveillance in the state.