August 24 2017

Mosquitos in Burlington Test Positive for West Nile Virus

By: Rich Hosford

The Burlington Board of Health says mosquitoes captured in town have tested positive for a dangerous disease.


In a statement the health department said that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health found West Nile Virus (WNV) in mosquitoes captured in Burlington on August 17.


This news should serve as a warning that mosquitoes pose a health threat between now and early October.  Although the chances of acquiring mosquito borne diseases such as WNV or Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) are remote, residents should be aware that these mosquito-borne viruses could cause fever, meningitis or encephalitis.  Early symptoms of these diseases include fever, headache, stiff neck and muscle weakness. People infected with WNV may have no symptoms.


Culex mosquitoes that develop in water holding containers are the primary vectors of WNV, while the mosquitoes that transmit EEE originate in wetlands.


Here are some 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.

- 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, permethrin, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus according to the instructions on the product label.


- 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.

- Properly maintain unused swimming pools. Mosquitoes commonly lay eggs in neglected swimming pools and water in loose fitting pool covers or tarps.  


- 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.


For further information on log onto the Massachusetts Department of Public Health web site at


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