Maine health chief issues warning

Posted Sept. 10, 2009, at 1:57 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — With nine confirmed cases of Eastern equine encephalitis affecting horses in Maine, the state health chief is warning Mainers to avoid mosquito bites that could give them the disease.

In a briefing Thursday, Dr. Dora Anne Mills of Maine’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention said people who live near bogs, swamps and coastal marshes should be especially careful to avoid bites by mosquitoes, which carry the disease. There are no confirmed cases of humans being affected by the potentially fatal disease this year.

Mills said she’s asked schools to reschedule sports events and practices so they won’t coincide with evening hours when mosquitoes are out.

Mills says the state hasn’t sprayed against mosquitoes carrying EEE because the area where they live is so widespread.

EEE mainly affects horses, llamas, alpacas and humans.

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