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Mosquito Found To Have West Nile Virus, First of the Year

Boston, Mass. (WGGB) – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced today that West Nile virus (WNV) has been detected in a mosquito in Massachusetts for the first time this year.

A WNV infection was confirmed by the State Laboratory Institute today in a mosquito sample which was collected on June 20 in Boston.

No human cases of WNV or Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) have been detected so far this year.

WNV is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Six cases of WNV were detected in Massachusetts residents last year. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe disease.

“Today’s findings are a reminder of the importance of protecting ourselves and our families from the threat of mosquito-borne illness,” said DPH State Epidemiologist, Dr. Al DeMaria.

Some steps you can take to protect yourself from getting bit is to make it a habit to apply bug spray before heading out or wear long sleeves or pants if weather permits, and head inside if you find you’re getting bitten by mosquitoes

Another tip, make sure the repellent has DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-
diol (PMD)] or IR3535 and be aware that from dusk to dawn its peak biting times for many mosquitoes.

Also, mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water so check things like rain gutters and drains, empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently.

Visit the DPH website for more info about WNV and EEE or call the Epidemiology Program at 617-983-6800.


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