The Maine Center for Disease Control put out a statement today, warning people about the dangers of mosquito-borne Eastern Equine Encephalitis, also known as EEE. It's a pretty rare condition, but cases have been spiking in the northeast, and the CDC wants to try and stay ahead of the issue.

Maine hasn't had a case of it's own since 2015, according to WGME TV-13, but it has been detected as far north as Massachusetts. There have been four human cases confirmed, including one fatality, and four more among animals.

In addition, there's also been an increase in West Nile Virus, another disease also carried by mosquitoes. Again, no confirmed cases in Maine, but the CDC won't waste any time trying to get the word out to folks.

The CDC recommends staying indoors from dusk to dawn as much as possible. But if you must be outdoors, folks should take precautions and protect themselves, and their kids. Here are some tips:

  • Use an EPA-approved repellent
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants
  • Treat clothing and gear with Permethrin
  • Take steps to control mosquitoes around your property by emptying artificial sources of standing water, fixing holes in screens, and working with a pesticide control applicator.

Though the illness is very rare, it's transmitted to mosquitoes when they bite infected birds. Then the skeeters become carriers of the disease, and can potentially spread it around from there. But it can't be spread from person to person, or animal to person. You've gotten to be bitten by an infected mosquito.

Symptoms can appear very flu-like initially. Including fever, stiff neck, headache, etc. But if you think you've been infected, don't take it lightly. It can fatal, though rare, and there is no vaccine. So immediate medical attention would be key.

Again, this disease is super rare. You don't necessarily stand a huge chance of contracting it. But, considering how harmful it can be, there's no reason not to take it seriously. Mosquito season will pretty much be done by the second frost, so it won't be long now. But still... be careful!