Newton Health Dept.: West Nile Virus Detected in Nearby Communities

West Nile Virus has been detected in a pool of mosquitoes collected in Boston, the Health Department reported.

The following is a press release from the Newton Health & Human Services Department:

West Nile Virus (WNV) has been detected in another pool of mosquitoes collected in Boston, the City’s Health & Human Services Department announced today.

WNV positive mosquitoes were trapped in Roslindale last month and West Roxbury this week. No human cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) infection have been reported this year.

WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection.

“We know West Nile Virus is endemic in this part of Massachusetts, and finding West Nile Virus in mosquitoes is something we expect to see each summer,” Dori Zaleznik, Newton’s Health and Human Services Commissioner. “It is important for people to take precautions like using mosquito repellent and limiting outdoor activities between dusk and dawn.”

Newton’s efforts to address mosquito-borne illness are to treat catch basins where Culex mosquitoes develop and to regularly trap and test mosquitoes to monitor the presence of disease. Newton participates in the East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project.

By taking a few, common-sense precautions, people can help to protect themselves and their loved ones:

Avoid Mosquito Bites Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours - The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning. Otherwise, take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing. Clothing Can Help reduce mosquito bites. Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin. Apply Insect Repellent when you go outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age. Permethrin products are intended for use on items such as clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear and should not be applied to skin.

Mosquito-Proof Your Home Drain Standing Water - Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to develop by either draining or getting rid of items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently. Install or Repair Screens - Some mosquitoes like to come indoors. Keep them outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

Information about WNV and reports of WNV activity in Massachusetts during 2012 can be found on the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website at http://www.mass.gov/dph/wnv. Recorded information about WNV is also available by calling the MDPH Public Health Information Line at 1-866-MASS-WNV (1-866-627-7968). Additional information is available by calling the City of Newton Health & Human Services Department at 617-796-1420 or visiting www.newtonma.gov


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