West Nile Virus-Positive Bird Found In Charlestown

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A blue jay found in Charlestown tested positive for West Nile Virus, the second time this summer the mosquito-borne illness has been detected in a bird in Boston, the Boston Public Health Commission said today. In July, a red-tailed hawk with WNV was found in Jamaica Plain. There have been no confirmed human cases.

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The city continues larvicide placement operations in catch basins designed to reduce mosquito populations, said Dr. Anita Barry, director of the Communicable Disease Control Division at the Commission. She said WNV poses very low risk to humans, but even that low risk can be reduced if people take a few simple steps to protect themselves and their families.

Those steps include using insect repellant when outdoors, especially from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are more likely to be biting and, when possible, wearing clothing with long sleeves and pants, she said. “People should also make sure that their window and door screens are in good repair so that mosquitoes cannot get indoors,’’ Dr. Barry said.

To prevent mosquitoes from breeding, she advises turning over unused flower pots, buckets, wheelbarrows, and garbage cans; removing leaves and other debris that can clog gutters and trap water; disposing of or covering old tires; and covering swimming pools and kiddie pools when not in use.

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