It’s Back: Annual West Nile Virus Confirmed in Mosquitos from Belmont

Photo: The West Nile virus is back once again. (Image by mika mamy from Pixabay

In what has become an annual summer resurgence, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced last week that the West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitos recently collected from Belmont.

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 50 are at higher risk for severe infection.

There are a few precautions people can do to help to protect themselves and their families:

Avoid Mosquito Bites

  • 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.Otherwise, take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing.
  • Clothing can help reduce mosquito bites. Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot,wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away fromyour skin.
  • Apply insect repellent when you go outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3,8- diol (PMD)] according to the instructions on the product label.

Mosquito-Proof Your Home

  • Drain Standing Water: Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of placesaround your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or getting rid of items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Make sure rain barrels are covered or screened. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently.
  • Install or Repair Screens: Some mosquitoes like to come indoors. Keep them outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

Information about WNV and reports of WNV activity in Massachusetts during 2020 can be found on the MDPH website at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/massachusetts-arbovirus-daily-update

West Nile Virus Now A Moderate Threat In Belmont

Photo: A Culex mosquito.

Following two consecutive weeks of WNV positive mosquito detections in the Boston area, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has raised the West Nile Virus risk level to moderate for residents living in Belmont, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Newton and Watertown. 

“Over the next few weeks, the Belmont Health Department will continue to work with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Eastern Middlesex Mosquito Control Project to monitor the mosquito populations for WNV. EMMCP crews recently started to treat [more than] 2,000 catch basins to reduce the mosquito population,” said Angela Braun, Belmont’s Director of Health.

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 50 are at higher risk for severe infection.

The Culex mosquitoes that carry the virus are prevalent throughout the state and are found in urban as well as more rural areas. While most mosquito species develop in wetlands, Culex mosquitoes prefer to lay their eggs in catch basins, clogged rain gutters, unused tires, buckets and other water holding containers. 

Residents can help combat this disease by mosquito proofing their property. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to develop by either draining or getting rid of items that hold water.

  • Check rain gutters and drains, empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change the water in birdbaths frequently.
  • Install or Repair Screens: Some mosquitoes like to come indoors. Keep them outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

Avoid Mosquito bites by following these simple steps:

  • 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. Otherwise, take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing.
  • Clothing can help reduce mosquito bites. Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing long-sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
  • Apply Insect Repellent when you go outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m- toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] according to the instructions on the product label.

Information about WNV and reports of WNV activity in Massachusetts during 2017 can be found on the MDPH website.

West Nile Virus Detected In Belmont; State Advise Residents Take Precautions

Photo: Beware this guy.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced Thursday, Aug. 18 that West Nile virus has been detected in three mosquitos recently collected from sites in Belmont. 

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 older than 50 are at higher risk for severe infection.

The majority of people, up to 80 percent, who are infected with WNV will have no symptoms.

A smaller number of people who become infected (less than 20 percent) will have symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands. They may also develop a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back.

Less than one percent of people infected with WNV will develop severe illness, including encephalitis or meningitis. The symptoms of severe illness can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. Persons older than 50 years of age have a higher risk of developing severe illness.

As always, there are a few precautions people can do to help to protect themselves and their families:

Avoid Mosquito Bites

  • 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. Otherwise, take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing.
  • Clothing Can Help reduce mosquito bites. Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
  • Apply Insect Repellent when you go outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] 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. Permethrin products are intended for use on items such as clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear and should not be applied to skin

Mosquito-Proof Your Home

  • Drain Standing Water: Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or getting rid of items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Make sure rain barrels are covered or screened. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently. 
  • Install or Repair Screens: Some mosquitoes like to come indoors. Keep them outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

Information about WNV and reports of WNV activity in Massachusetts during 2016 can be found on the MDPH website.

Belmont Health Issues Warning on Mosquitos as West Nile Virus Detected

Photo: What to watch out for.

It’s nearing mid-summer and with the recent rainstorms that passed through the region, it’s certain that in time at all, outdoor activities will be impacted by an influx of mosquitoes. The Belmont Department of Health has issued this press release to warn residents of the danger the insect can inflict on people:

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced [Thursday, July 24] that West Nile virus has been detected in mosquito samples collected from Waltham, Brookline, Reading and Richmond. 

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.

As always, there are a few precautions people can do to help to protect themselves and their families:

  • Avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, if possible, as this is the time of greatest mosquito activity.
  • If you must be outside during that time, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. If you choose to apply a chemical based repellant containing DEET, follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully.  Parents should NEVER use DEET on infants; use a 10 percent or less DEET concentration on children and 30 to 35 percent or less on adults.
  • Make sure as much skin as possible is covered when children are outdoors and cover baby carriages with netting.
  • Fix all holes in screens and make sure doors and screens fit tightly.

To reduce the mosquito population around your home, eliminate all standing water that is available for mosquito breeding and follow these simple guidelines:

  • Dispose of, or regularly empty, any metal cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots and other water holding containers.
  • Pay special attention to discarded tires that may have collected on your property. Tires are a common place for mosquitoes to breed. For that reason, it is a violation of the Nuisance Regulations to leave tires stored outdoors.
  • Clean clogged roof gutters; remove leaves and debris that would prevent good drainage. This may be the single biggest source of mosquitoes in any neighborhood.
  • Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
  • Swimming pools should be kept properly filtered and chlorinated. They should never be allowed to remain stagnant. Mosquito “dunks” can be purchased at many hardware stores to treat pool water if you must leave your pool unattended for keep the pool cover on for a significant period of time.
  • Use landscaping to eliminate areas of standing water on your property. Reducing insect harborage is one of the goals of the Health Department’s nuisance regulations, which ask that residents remove piles of rubbish, debris, yard waste, etc. from their yards.

            If you have any questions, please call the Health Department at 617 993-2720   

With Mosquito Season Upon Us, Ways to Protect Self, Family

It’s nearing mid-summer and with the recent rainstorms that passed through the region, it’s certain that in time at all, outdoor activities will be impacted by an influx of mosquitoes. The Belmont Department of Health has issued this press release to warn residents of the danger the insect can inflict on people: 

As we all recall, last winter saw significant snowfall and the mosquito breeding environments in and around Belmont are primed for a large number of mosquitoes this year. As always, we need to think about avoiding mosquitoes as well as ensuring that we keep our home environment and yards mosquito free. Mosquitoes are not just a nuisance.  Unfortunately they also carry disease to humans which makes it exceedingly important to practice safeguards against mosquito bites.  The risk of becoming infected with mosquito-borne disease is highest from late July through September; you should also know that the recent heavy rains will contribute to a large population of mosquitoes.

Belmont is part of the East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project, and as in recent years, workers from that project have already started to treat Belmont’s catch basins with mosquito growth inhibitors, which help to reduce one of the biggest sources of mosquitoes in this community.

Residents should, however, take note of the following suggestions to protect themselves from mosquitoes:

  • Avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, if possible, as this is the time of greatest mosquito activity.
  • If you must be outside during that time, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. If you choose to apply a chemical based repellant containing DEET, follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully.  Parents should NEVER use DEET on infants; use a 10 percent or less DEET concentration on children and 30 to 35 percent or less on adults.
  • Make sure as much skin as possible is covered when children are outdoors and cover baby carriages with netting.
  • Fix all holes in screens and make sure doors and screens fit tightly.

To reduce the mosquito population around your home, eliminate all standing water that is available for mosquito breeding and follow these simple guidelines:

  • Dispose of, or regularly empty, any metal cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots and other water holding containers.
  • Pay special attention to discarded tires that may have collected on your property. Tires are a common place for mosquitoes to breed. For that reason, it is a violation of the Nuisance Regulations to leave tires stored outdoors.
  • Clean clogged roof gutters; remove leaves and debris that would prevent good drainage. This may be the single biggest source of mosquitoes in any neighborhood.
  • Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
  • Swimming pools should be kept properly filtered and chlorinated. They should never be allowed to remain stagnant. Mosquito “dunks” can be purchased at many hardware stores to treat pool water if you must leave your pool unattended for keep the pool cover on for a significant period of time.
  • Use landscaping to eliminate areas of standing water on your property. Reducing insect harborage is one of the goals of the Health Department’s nuisance regulations, which ask that residents remove piles of rubbish, debris, yard waste, etc. from their yards.

            If you have any questions, please call the Health Department at 617 993-2720