West Nile Virus Outbreak in MA is Ongoing


The department of health continues to conduct statewide surveillance for mosquito-borne illnesses, including West Nile virus infections, Eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, malaria, chikungunya and dengue.

Almost 80 percent of people infected with WNV will not become ill.

Health Unit officials say the best way to prevent West Nile virus is to avoid being bitten. Symptoms similar to flu symptoms and include fever, headache and nausea. If you are experiencing this type of illness, it is important to seek medical treatment. There are no reported West Nile Virus cases in humans in 2018.

"With higher temperatures forecast for next week, we anticipate further buildup of the virus in mosquitoes with increasing risk for human exposure", said Dr. Theodore Andreadis, director of the Center for Vector Biology & Zoonotic Diseases at the CAES.

Dress in long sleeves and trousers when you are outside and spray thin clothing with repellent. Check for ingredients like DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent will give extra protection.

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- Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than two months old.

REPEL - When outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long trousers and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, according to label instructions.

The most populated places with mosquitoes are rural places, woods, gardens, while their favorite time is at dusk and dawn.

The CCHHS environmental health specialists and DCMA staff routinely survey known breeding sources for mosquitoes and trap them for identification.

DRAIN - Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water. Make sure door and window screens fit tightly and all holes are repaired.