West Nile Virus (WNV) has been detected in Newton mosquitoes collected on 7/21/20, the City’s Health & Human Services Department announced today. There have been no reports of human infection in Massachusetts so far this year.
Mosquitoes carrying the virus have been trapped in Newton and nearby communities (Brookline, Boston and Belmont), so residents should take precautions regardless of which part of Newton they live in.
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. Newton residents have contracted the illness in previous years, and some of them have been hospitalized.
Newton expects to detect mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus each summer. Citywide efforts to address mosquito-borne illness are to treat catch basins where mosquitoes carrying WNV develop and to regularly trap and test mosquitoes to monitor the presence of WNV in the community. Newton participates in the East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project, and works closely with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. There are no plans to spray for mosquitoes in Newton.
By taking a few, common sense precautions, people can help to protect themselves and their loved ones:
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