West Nile Virus detected in Wilbraham mosquito samples

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The West Nile Virus has been detected in mosquitoes collected from Wilbraham, health officials announced Friday.

The state’s Department of Health said in 2017, 5,496 mosquito samples were tested for the West Nile Virus and 290 samples were positive.

As of today, there have been 241 positive mosquito samples identified in Massachusetts, including one in Wilbraham. No human cases of the virus have been identified in Wilbraham.

The West Nile Virus is usually transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Avoiding 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. 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 the skin

Mosquito-proofing 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.

The West Nile Virus can infect people of all ages, but people over the age of 50 are at a higher risk for severe infection.

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