West Nile Virus and EEE detected in Massachusetts mosquitoes

By Allison Rubenstein,

West Nile Virus (WNV) was found in a mosquito in Massachusetts for the first time this summer.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported its findings of the mosquito-borne illness on July 9, and advised state residents to use insect repellent, screen their windows and doors and wear long-sleeves and pants when outdoors.

West Nile was discovered in a mosquito sample obtained by the health department on July 3.

Dr. Catherine Brown, DPH State Public Health Veterinarian, emphasized the importance of draining any standing water that may remain in flowerpots, plastic pools and rain gutters. “Because of the very warm weather and the periodic thunderstorms we’ve been having, dumping standing water is especially important.”

Another mosquito-borne illness, Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEE virus), was also detected in Massachusetts mosquitoes. The mosquitoes were found in Bridgewater in Plymouth County.

In another media release by the DPH, Dr. Catherine Brown said, “EEE is an annual occurrence in Massachusetts.” She advises that residents take the same precautions as they would against WNV. Last year, only one human case of EEE was reported.



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