Heads Up: A Case of West Nile Virus Has Officially Been Confirmed in Maine
For starters, what exactly IS West Nile Virus?
According to Maine.Gov, WNV occurs throughout the United States and can affect birds, humans and an array of other mammals. The virus, which causes weakness, headache, fever, confusion and inflammation of the brain, along with an array of other symptoms including coma, is primarily spread by infected mosquitos.
The CDC reports that most people infected will never show any symptoms, but if they do, they will likely begin to develop the symptoms around 3-15 days after becoming infected.
Though cases of the disease are fairly rare, especially in Maine, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry did in fact confirm one this week.
According to a press release from the MDACF, a case of the potentially deadly West Nile Virus was confirmed in York County. However, the case wasn't identified in a human, but rather in a horse.
In addition to the confirmed case of West Nile, the MDACF went on to explain in their press release that they have also confirmed several cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in horses and emus across Maine, specifically in Piscataquis, Somerset, Penobscot and Waldo counties.
According to the CDC, EEE is a virus that is also spread primarily from mosquito bites. They also explain that each year there are only a few cases confirmed in the United States and that most of those cases are in the gulf coast.
The CDC reports that there are currently no vaccines for EEE and that it can be fatal in both animals and humans.
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