BREAKING: West Nile Virus in Worcester
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
West Nile Virus (WNV) has been detected in samples of primarily bird biting mosquitos collected from the City of Worcester.
The samples are collected in order for public health officials to monitor WNV and EEE in the summer months.
Although there have not been any human cases reported in Central Massachusetts this year, the detection of positive mosquitoes raises concerns about the threat.
WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection.
“The detection of West Nile Virus in samples of bird biting mosquitos in Worcester is a good reminder for our residents to following simple, common-sense, precautionary steps to protect themselves,” said Michael Hirsh, MD, Acting Commissioner of Public Health, City of Worcester. “The best way community members can decrease the risk of mosquito bites is to follow the five D’s of prevention.”
Simple and effective precaution can be utilized to help decrease the risk of mosquito bites.
Practice the 5 D’s.
DEET: Apply insect repellent when outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus (p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)) or IR3535, 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.
DUSK AND DAWN: 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.
DRESS: Wearing long sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from the skin and help reduce mosquito bites
DRAIN: Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around a home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools and change water in birdbaths frequently.
These simple steps in addition to mosquito proofing your home by installing or repairing screens will reduce you and your family’s risk of exposure.
- How to Protect Yourself Against EEE and West Nile Virus
- New England States At Increased Risk for West Nile + EEE
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