West Nile Virus-positive mosquitoes detected in Boston
BOSTON -- The following release was sent out from the Boston Public Health Commission:
First West Nile Virus-Positive Mosquitoes Detected in Boston
For the first time this summer, a mosquito pool in Boston has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV), the Boston Public Health Commission reported today. One positive mosquito pool was found in Roslindale. There have been no confirmed human cases of WNV in Boston this year.
“It’s again the time of year when it’s not surprising to find mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus in Boston,” said Dr. Anita Barry, director the Infectious Disease Bureau at the Public Health Commission. “The recent combination of hot weather and rain may have contributed to West Nile appearing slightly earlier this year than in some previous years, and people should take some simple precautions to avoid mosquito bites.”
These steps include using insect repellant when outdoors, especially from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are more likely to be biting and, when possible, wearing clothing that includes long sleeves and pants. People should also mosquito-proof their home by making sure that their window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquitoes from getting into the house.
To prevent mosquitoes from breeding, BPHC advises people to turn over unused flower pots, buckets, wheelbarrows, and garbage cans; remove leaves and other debris that can clog gutters and trap water; dispose of or cover old tires; and cover swimming pools and kiddie pools when not in use.
While WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus, it poses very low risk to humans. The risk can be further reduced by following these precautionary measures.
The city has also begun putting larvicide in catch basins in Boston neighborhoods, a process designed to reduce the number of mosquitoes.