Mosquito-borne disease defined
A mosquito-borne disease is a disease that is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito.
The diseases infected mosquitoes carry can be caused by a parasite or by viruses. For example, mosquitoes with West Nile virus likely acquired it by feeding on birds already infected with the virus.
Types of mosquito-borne diseases in Maine
Here in Maine, the most common types of mosquito-borne diseases are:
- Eastern equine encephalitis
- West Nile virus
- Jamestown Canyon virus
When do symptoms of mosquito-borne diseases first appear?
- Eastern Equine Encephalitis – 3 to 14 days after a bite from an infected mosquito
- West Nile virus – 2 to 14 days after a bite from an infected mosquito
- Jamestown Canyon virus – 3 to 14 days after a bite from an infected mosquito
Signs and symptoms of diseases spread by mosquitoes in Maine
Symptoms of Eastern Equine Encephalitis include fever, chills, muscle and joint pain, and a general feeling of being uncomfortable. Some people infected with EEE may not experience any signs or symptoms.
Symptoms of West Nile virus include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, stomach issues, and rash. Approximately 80% of people infected with WNV do not show signs or symptoms.
Symptoms of Jamestown Canyon virus include fever, muscle aches, fatigue, dizziness, and headache. The number of people who don’t show signs or symptoms of this virus is not known.
Can any of these mosquito-borne diseases be deadly?
Approximately 1/3 of people with Eastern Equine Encephalitis die from the infection.
About 1 out of every 10 people who develop a severe case of West Nile virus will die.
While fatalities attributed to Jamestown Canyon virus are rare, it should be noted that this illness can be severe and cause brain swelling.
Are mosquito-borne diseases in Maine common?
Thankfully, no. According to the Maine CDC, mosquito-borne diseases in humans are very rare.
Mosquito-borne diseases and travel
Before traveling out of state and especially out of the country, be sure to check travel health notices issued by the CDC for warnings about mosquito-borne illnesses including Zika, Chikungunya, malaria, and yellow fever.
How Mainers can protect against mosquito bites and the threat of disease
As we mentioned above, mosquito-borne disease does not occur very often in our state but mosquito bites certainly do! To protect against mosquito bites and the potential health threats associated with them, we recommend the follow mosquito prevention tips:
- Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes lay their eggs
- Make sure window screens and screen doors do not have any holes
- Keep your lawn mowed
- Clear gutters and drains of leaves, branches, and other debris that cause clogs
- Divert water spouts away from the foundation of your home
- Discard old tires, pick up tarps, and remove other items that collect water from around your yard
For more information on what attracts mosquitoes, please read What Attracts Mosquitoes?
Sign up for seasonal mosquito control and keep these biting pests away
For the best protection against mosquito bites and to protect your health against disease spread by mosquitoes in Maine, we highly recommend signing up for seasonal mosquito control.
Offering mosquito treatments in Auburn, Gardiner, and Freeport as well as throughout our multi-county service area, the local pest control pros at Pine State Pest Solutions will:
- Inspect your property to identify mosquito breeding and resting areas.
- Perform monthly misting treatments May through September to drastically reduce the mosquito population on your property
- Make you aware of any conditions that are attracting mosquitoes
Don’t let mosquitoes steal your summer, contact our locally owned and operated pest control company today for the best mosquito control available!