West Nile Virus: Risk Level “High” in Boston

Back-to-back cases of West Nile Virus in Greater Boston this Summer are raising caution over the virus. Massachusetts Health Departments are sounding the alarm after a man in his 70s contracted the virus last week.

Massachusetts West Nile Virus Heatmap 2022

From Boston Herald

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health confirmed a man in his 70s contracted the virus in Suffolk County.

“As a result of this new finding, the risk level for Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, and Somerville is being raised from moderate to high.” – mass.gov

This comes shortly after a Boston-area woman also in her 70s contracted the West Nile Virus.

“Officials reported the state’s first case of West Nile virus this year in August after a woman in her 70s who was exposed in Suffolk County.” – masslive.com

Last year, 11 people in Massachusetts were diagnosed with the mosquito-borne virus, officials said, which can cause a fever and flu-like symptoms. The first human case of 2021 was announced Sept. 1. – NBC Boston

With only 2 confirmed cases of WNV for 2022, it may seem that cases are down versus last year. However, mosquitoes become increasingly aggressive in the Fall because of the receding food supply and creeping cold weather.

Therefore, Massachusetts may be on track for double-digit cases again this year.

West Nile Virus – Know the Risks

The West Nile Virus “is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe disease.” – mass.gov

West Nile Virus Symptoms:

West Nile Virus Symptoms

From uxbridge-ma.gov

Practical Safety Precautions Against West Nile Virus & EEE

What can I do to protect against West Nile Virus & EEE?

Mosquito Bite

From Boston.com

How to protect against West Nile Virus & EEE:

Provided by mass.gov

  • 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 the evening or early morning.
  • Drain Standing Water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty unused flowerpots and wading pools and change the water in birdbaths frequently.
  • Avoid Mosquito Bites.
      • Use a repellent with DEET, permethrin, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 according to the instructions on the product label. Be sure to follow the age guidelines for these products.
      • Wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks to protect exposed skin from mosquito bites.
  • Have your yard professionally treated. This is the best-proven way to protect you and your family against mosquitoes harboring WNV & EEE. A1 Exterminator’s Pest Prevention Plan is specially designed to protect your property, keeping your family and pets safe. “It’s your yard. Defend it.”

For more information on A1 Exterminators Pest Control Plan and Mosquito Control, read more here.

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