Newton, MA Mosquitoes Carrying West Nile Virus

City health officials at Newton, Massachusetts reported of detecting the West Nile virus in mosquitoes collected in the area. Tests conducted by the Newton Department of Health and Human Services on mosquitoes trapped on the north side of the city came back positive for the West Nile virus.

Officials said in a release that this is the first incidence reported for this year. Such West Nile virus carrying mosquitoes have also been detected in nearby Brookline, Boston, Waltham and Cambridge. Despite the concern, no human cases of West Nile virus has yet been reported according to officials.

According to John McNally, the city’s senior environmental health specialist, “We know West Nile Virus is endemic in this part of Massachusetts, and finding West Nile Virus in mosquitoes is something we expect to see this time of year. It’s important for people to keep themselves healthy by taking precautions like using mosquito repellent and limiting outdoor activities between dusk and dawn.”

Those who are considered at high risk for West Nile Virus disease are people over the age of 50 years old. Symptoms of the disease include high fever, headaches, muscle weakness , tremors and disorientation. If not addressed, the disease can lead to paralysis, coma and even death.

Addressing potential problems caused by the West Nile virus in the city include limiting mosquito development by treating catch basins in the area as well as continuous trapping and testing the insects. It can go as far as conducting aerial and truck spraying to control the mosquitoes although it is not required at the current situation according to the said release. For the meantime, residents are urged to limit exposure to mosquito bites by wearing long sleeves, using mosquito repellent, avoiding going outdoors during the evening or early morning and draining standing water around their properties to prevent becoming possible mosquito breeding areas.


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