10 New Human Cases of West Nile Virus Hit MA in 2018

Saturday, September 22, 2018
GoLocalWorcester News Team

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced ten new human cases of West Nile Virus in the state this year.

That brings the total number of human cases acquired in Massachusetts to 24.

``We’ve seen four times more West Nile virus human cases this year in the Commonwealth than last year. It is important that we continue to remember that even with the start of fall and its cooler temperatures, mosquito season is not yet over,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH.

In 2017, there were six human cases of WNV infection identified in Massachusetts.

The Department of Public Health offers the following tips for avoiding mosquitoes:

Tips for Avoiding 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 percent 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 breed 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. All property should be maintained to prohibit the formation of stagnant pools of water, which may affect adversely the public health by attracting and harboring mosquitoes and other insects. Properties with these conditions can be reported to the Department of Inspectional Services via the City’s customer service center at 508-929-1300.
  • 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.
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