First West Nile Virus Positive Mosquito In Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) announced that West Nile virus (WNV) has been detected in mosquitoes in Massachusetts for the first time this year. The mosquito sample was collected on July 21st in the town of Walpole in Norfolk County.
Earlier this week, health officials announced that a mosquito sample infected with Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) had been identified in the town of Freetown.
There have been no human cases of WNV or EEE so far this year.
There have been sixteen cases of WNV in humans during the last five years. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe disease. WNV is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito.
“West Nile virus has come around again, as we expect it will every year” said DPH State Epidemiologist, Dr. Al DeMaria “Just take a moment to do something to protect yourself from mosquito bites by using clothing to cover up or applying bug spray. Getting rid of any accumulated water around your yard will also help keep more mosquitoes from breeding.”