October 10 2019

Another Human Case of West Nile Virus Reported in Middlesex County

By: Rich Hosford

State health officials say another Middlesex County man has been diagnosed with the mosquito-borne illness West Nile Virus, marking the third case in the state and the second in the county this year. 


The man, who is in his sixties, reportedly contracted the disease after being exposed to the virus in September. 


“We continue to emphasize the need for people to protect themselves from mosquito bites,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “Although mosquito populations are declining, some risk will continue until the first hard frost.”


According to the National Weather Service temperatures will stay above freezing until at least next Thursday, the last day projected at this time. 


As reported on BNEWS, another man in his 60s was diagnosed with West Nile Virus in Middlesex County in September. The third case in the state in 2019 was a man in his 50s in Plymouth County. 


In 2018 there were 49 human cases of the disease in the state. 


Health officials say people should take precauations to reduce the risk of mosquito bites. 


Tips to 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. If you are outdoors at any time and notice mosquitoes around you, take steps to avoid being bitten by moving indoors, covering up and/or wearing repellant.


- 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 – Many 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.  


- 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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