2nd Human Case of West Nile Virus in Middlesex County
Mass. Dept. of Public Health (DPH) has reported a second human case of West Nile virus (WNV) has been confirmed in Middlesex County. The first human case of WNV this year was confirmed in another Middlesex County resident Aug. 15.
DPH strongly recommends that evening outdoor events are curtailed in all these communities for the remainder of mosquito season.
While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over age 50 are at higher risk for severe disease. WNV is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. When present, WNV symptoms tend to include fever and flu-like illness. In rare cases, more severe illness can occur.
Avoid Mosquito Bites
Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535 according to instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months old 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.Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. Hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning.
Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wear long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors.
Mosquito-Proof Your Home
Drain Standing Water. Mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water. Limit places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or discarding 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. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all windows and doors.
Protect Your Animals
Animal owners should reduce potential mosquito breeding sites on their property by eliminating standing water from containers such as buckets, tires, and wading pools - especially after heavy rain. Water troughs provide excellent mosquito breeding habitats and should be flushed out at least once a week during summer months to reduce mosquitoes near paddock areas. Horse owners should keep horses in indoor stalls at night to reduce their risk of exposure to mosquitoes. If an animal is diagnosed with WNV or EEE, owners are required to report to DAR, Division of Animal Health by calling 617-626-1795 and to Dept. of Public Health (DPH) by calling 617-983-6800. More information, including all WNV and EEE positive results from 2012, can be found on the Arbovirus Surveillance Information web page at www.mass.gov/dph/wnv or by calling the DPH Epidemiology Program at 617-983-6800.