Maine CDC Believes a Mainer Has Contracted West Nile Virus
According to WMTW, health officials in Maine are pretty certain that an adult in Cumberland County has contracted the mosquito born West Nile Virus. The Maine CDC was contacted by the US CDC and told that a Mainer had been hospitalized for what is likely to be the West Nile Virus. This would be the first case of West Nile Virus in a Mainer since 2018 according to WMTW.
Maine has not recorded any mosquitos contaminated with West Nile Virus this year, though both Massachusetts and New Hampshire have. The Maine CDC is reminding people to do their best to avoid mosquito bites. Mosquitos in Maine remain active in temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit and are around typically until the second frost of the autumn season.
According to the United States Center for Disease Control,
West Nile virus (WNV) is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States. It is most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. Cases of WNV occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues through fall. There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat WNV in people. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV do not feel sick. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms. About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness. You can reduce your risk of WNV by using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants to prevent mosquito bites.
The most common symptoms of West Nile Virus include fever, headache, tremors, muscle weakness, vision loss, neck stiffness and disorientation among others. Recovering from West Nile Virus can takes weeks and in some cases even months. The disease is typically treated with over-the-counter pain reliever to control discomfort and fever. More serious cases may require IV fluids and RX pain medication including a stay in the hospital for treatment.
If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of the virus you should contact your primary care physician immediately for guidance on the best course of action.
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