West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) reported through August 16, 2012
In a press release dated, August 15, 2012, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced today that the first 2012 human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) has been found in a resident of Middlesex County, in a town north of Boston. Based on this finding, State Health Officials raised the WNV threat level to "Moderate" in Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge, Somerville, and Watertown. Separately, officials have also confirmed the first case of WNV in a horse located in the town of Ludlow in Western Massachusetts.
State Health Officials have announced that as of August 16, West Nile Virus had been detected in mosquitoes in Arlington, Belmont, Boston, Brookline, Everett, Framingham, Lexington, Newton, Malden, Revere, Waltham, and Winthrop. For additional information please visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's arbovirus website. WNV isolations from mosquitoes have been continuing in our area.
Recent hot weather with episodic rains has promoted development of WNV and Culex mosquito species. The risk level for WNV in Concord remains low.
A human case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) was recently been confirmed in a Middlesex County resident. However, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health believes it is likely the disease was contracted as a result of the resident’s out of state travel. No animal cases of EEE have been found to date. A mosquito pool positive for EEE was detected in mid-July in Sudbury, and EEE-positive mosquitos have been found within the past two weeks in Topsfield and Reading, as well as numerous towns in southeastern Massachusetts. Intermittent findings of EEE in mosquitoes have been occurring outside of traditional risk areas and state health officials have stressed that residents throughout Massachusetts should use personal protection measures to avoid mosquito bites. According to
MDPH Officials, the risk remains low for EEE in Concord and other adjacent towns with the exception of Sudbury (where MDPH has assigned a moderate risk level, based on the EEE-positive mosquito pool found in mid-July; no other mosquitos have tested positive for EEE in Sudbury since that time). ~To learn more about risk of WNV and EEE in Concord and other Massachusetts communities, see the risk map from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
What Can You Do?
Avoid Mosquito Bites
- Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with 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 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.
- 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.
- 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
Animal owners should reduce potential mosquito breeding sites on their property by eliminating standing water from containers such as buckets, tires, and wading pools — especially after heavy rains. Water troughs provide excellent mosquito breeding habitats and should be flushed out at least once a week during the summer months to reduce mosquitoes near paddock areas. Horse owners should keep horses in indoor stalls at night to reduce their risk of exposure to mosquitoes. If an animal is diagnosed with 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.
In response to elevated concern about EEE and WNV, the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS), Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), and Hopkinton Community Television (HCAM-TV) have collaborated in producing a special television report to raise awareness among residents about these mosquito and tick-borne diseases.~ Mosquito and Tick-Borne Diseases will be distributed this week to public access television stations that reach more than 260 communities in the state. The half-hour program features two experts from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health: Alfred DeMaria, M.D., Medical Director of the Bureau of Infectious Diseases, and Catherine Brown, D.V.M., M.Sc., M.P.H., State Public Health Veterinarian. The program is available online at www.physicianfocus.org/mosquitotick
Additional information may be found on the following websites:
For inquiries on mosquitoes or how to control them, you may contact the Eastern Middlesex Mosquito Control Project (EMMCP) at (781) 899-5730 or visit their website at: