West Nile virus detected in mosquitoes in Wenham

West Nile virus detected in mosquitoes in Wenham

West Nile virus detected in mosquitoes in Wenham

It was the first Ashland County bird found with West Nile since the Health Department began watching for the mosquito-transmitted virus May 1.

"Ashland County residents should be aware of West Nile virus and take some simple steps to protect themselves against mosquito bites", Ashland County Public Health Officer Cyndi Zach said.

It was also reported that of the 22 confirmed cases, 14 people have been hospitalized including 13 with the more serious West Nile fever, a severe illness that affects the central nervous system such as encephalitis or meningitis.

Birds and horses can also contract the virus.

When outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long trousers and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, according to label instructions.

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The board urged people to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites, including using insect repellent, wearing long clothing, rescheduling outdoor activities to avoid the peak biting times of evening and early morning, and draining standing water around your home.

For more information, go to the Be Mosquito Free webpage.

According to the health unit, about 80 per cent of people who become infected won't show symptoms.

Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside. MA residents are also being asked to treat large pools of water on their property with larvicide and to dump any standing water to prevent mosquitoes from breeding. "But then I said, well with all the rain and everything anything's possible with the mosquitos that have been out and about as much as they have been". It's the ninth confirmed human case in the state this year.

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