First West Nile Virus Case Of Summer Confirmed In Belmont

Photo: The infection cycle for the West Nile virus. (Credit: CDC.com)

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced on July 15 that West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitoes collected from Belmont.

WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquitoes that carry this virus are common throughout the state and are found in urban as well as more rural areas. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection. 

By taking a few, common sense precautions, people can help to protect themselves and their loved ones:

Avoid Mosquito Bites

  • 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% 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. 
  • 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.
  • Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours – The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. When risk is increased, consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning. If you are outdoors at any time and notice mosquitoes around you, take steps to avoid being bitten by moving indoors, covering up and/or wearing repellant.

Mosquito-Proof Your Home

  • Drain Standing Water – Many 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. 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 your windows and doors.

Information about WNV and reports of current and historical WNV virus activity in Massachusetts can be found on the MDPH website at: www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito.

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 Found In Cambridge; Belmont Risk Factor Raised to ‘Moderate’

Photo:

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has raised the risk of Belmont residents being infected by the West Nile Virus from “low” to “moderate” after a human case of the virus was confirmed in Cambridge on Thursday, Sept. 12, according to the Belmont Board of Health and Health Department.

In a press release dated Friday, Sept. 13, the Board of Health re-
ported that no mosquito samples in Belmont have tested positive for the other mosquito-borne infectious illness, Eastern Equine Encephalitis
virusBelmont remains at “low” risk for EEE.  

The West Nile Virus is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquitoes that carry this virus are common throughout the state, and are found in urban as well as more rural areas. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection. 

By taking a few, basic precautions, people can help to protect themselves and their loved ones:

Avoid Mosquito Bites

  • Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours – The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. 
  • 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% 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 netting can be used on baby carriages for children for whom insect repellent is not appropriate.  
  • Drain Standing Water – Many 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 at least two times each week. Check rain gutters and drains. 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. The Health Department will continue to work with MDPH to monitor mosquito activity in the Town and the surrounding communities and make additional recommendations as deemed necessary. www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito.

Belmont Under High Risk Threat for West Nile Virus

Photo: The type of mosquito that carries the West Nile virus.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced on Monday, Aug. 27 the fourth human case of West Nile virus in the state this year. The person is a woman in her 50s from Middlesex County who was never hospitalized for her illness. Three other cases were reported on Friday. 

Investigations conducted by state public health officials indicate that at least two of the four cases were exposed in the greater Boston area leading them to raise the risk level from moderate to high for 11 communities including Belmont.

The other communities are Arlington, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Medford, Newton, Somerville, and Watertown.

“Several individuals from the same area have developed West Nile virus,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel. “That means that there is an increased risk in this specific area and that additional people could become infected. We are particularly concerned about people over 50 and those who are immunocompromised as they are the ones most likely to develop WNV disease.

For those 11 communities now at high-risk, DPH recommends that local health officials intensify messaging to raise awareness and promote personal protective behaviors, target outreach to high-risk populations, and increase surveillance for human disease.

People at high risk for severe illness are encouraged to consider avoiding outdoor activity at dusk and dawn. Local boards of health should continue to work directly with their Mosquito Control District to determine appropriate control measures.

“It is extremely important for people to take steps to avoid mosquito bites, including using repellents, wearing clothing to reduce exposed skin, dumping standing water, and moving indoors when you notice mosquitoes biting you,’’ said DPH State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown.

West Nile virus is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. While the virus can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe disease. Most people infected with West Nile will have no symptoms. When present, WNV symptoms tend to include fever and flu-like illness. In rare cases, more severe illness can occur.

People can take steps to protect themselves and their loved ones from illnesses caused by mosquitoes.

Back Again: State Finds West Nile Virus In Belmont

Photo: There are effective ways to prevent the West Nile virus from infecting you and your family.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced in a press release Thursday, July 19 that West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitoes collected from Belmont. Accordingly, MDPH has raised the risk of WNV infection from “low” to “moderate” in Belmont and surrounding communities in the Greater Boston Area.

This marks the fourth summer in the past five years that the virus has been found in mosquitoes from Belmont. 

WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquitoes that carry this virus are common throughout the Bay State and are found in urban as well as more rural areas. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection.

By taking a few, basic precautions, people can help to protect themselves and their loved ones:

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. If you are outdoors at any time and notice mosquitoes around you, take steps to avoid being bitten by moving indoors, covering up and/or wearing repellant.
  • 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. 

Mosquito-Proof Your Home

  • Drain Standing Water: Many 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. 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 current and historical WNV virus activity in Massachusetts can be found on the MDPH website.

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 Found In Belmont and Cambridge

Photo: West Nile virus back in Belmont.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced today, Thursday, July 13 that West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitos recently collected from Belmont and Cambridge. 

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. 

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

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.

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.

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.

West Nile Virus Returns to State; Prevention The Best Defense From Illness

Photo: Mosquitoes with West Nile Virus have been detected in the state.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced Thursday, July 7, that West Nile virus had been detected in mosquitoes in Massachusetts for the first time this year from three mosquito samples collected on July 1 in Worcester.

No human or animal cases of WNV or Eastern Equine Encephalitis have been detected so far this year. There is no elevated risk level or risk level change associated with this finding.

“This is an expected finding at this time of year and given the heat and dry conditions we have been experiencing, we are expecting to see more and more WNV activity,” said DPH State Epidemiologist Dr. Al DeMaria.

In 2015, there were 10 cases of WNV infection statewide. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people 50 and older are at higher risk for severe disease. Most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. When present, WNV symptoms tend to include fever and flu-like illness. In rare cases, more severe illness can occur.

People have an important role to play in protecting themselves from mosquitoes-borne illness.

Avoid Mosquito Bites

  • Apply insect repellent when outdoors. Use a repellent with an EPA-registered ingredient (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 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.
  • 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 in areas of high risk.
  • Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wearing long-sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your 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 discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently.
  • Install or Repair Screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

Protect Your Animals

  • Owners should also speak with their veterinarian about mosquito repellents approved for use in animals and vaccinations to prevent WNV and EEE. If an animal is suspected of having WNV or EEE, owners are required to report to DAR, Division of Animal Health by calling 617-626-1795 and to the Department of Public Health (DPH) by calling 617-983-6800.

More information, including all WNV and EEE positive results, can be accessed from the Arbovirus Surveillance Information web page or by calling the DPH Epidemiology Program at 617-983-6800.

West Nile Virus Detected in Mosquito Collected in Belmont

Photo: Mosquito in Belmont.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced Thursday, Aug. 6, that the West Nile virus was detected in one mosquito collected from Belmont.

WNV is transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus. While WNV can infect people of all ages, those 50 and older 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 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% 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 2015 can be found on the MDPH website at http://www.mass.gov/dph/wnv.