Jamestown Canyon virus detected in Maine town

Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 6:30 PM EDT
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(WMTW) - Mosquitos in a Maine town have tested positive for Jamestown Canyon virus, the state’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced.

A mosquito pool in Wells has tested positive for the virus. It’s the first positive test for the state since 2019.

The Maine CDC says there are no known human cases of Jamestown Canyon Virus or other “locally-acquired” mosquito-borne illnesses this year in the state.

Jamestown Canyon Virus is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito only. It cannot be spread from human to human or human to animal.

Many of those infected with the virus have no symptoms, while others experience a fever or flu-like illness.

Jamestown Canyon virus can have severe symptoms, such as encephalitis, meningitis or death.

The CDC recommends the following to avoid mosquito-borne illnesses:

  • Wearing loose-fitting long sleeves and long pants.
  • Using an EPA-approved repellent on skin and clothing.
  • Taking extra precautions at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Using screens on windows and doors.
  • Draining artificial sources of standing water around the home, such as bird baths, wheelbarrows, and dog bowls, etc., where mosquitoes can lay eggs
  • Taking steps to prevent mosquito bites when traveling
  • Vaccinate horses against EEE and WNV. There is no vaccine available for JCV.