CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – August 20th is World Mosquito Day, which brings awareness to the dangers of mosquitos and how to prevent mosquito-borne diseases.

According to the National Day Calander, August 20th is when malaria was discovered in mosquitos back in 1897 by Sir Ronald Ross at the Indian Medical Service. His discovery of the malarial parasite was found in the gastrointestinal tract of a female mosquito, and this allowed scientists to better understand the role of mosquitos in the disease and how to prevent it.

Mosquitos are best known for transmitting other diseases besides malaria. Many of the diseases are dangerous and can cause death, while others can cause physical deformities, such as:

  • Malaria
  • Dengue Fever
  • West Nile
  • Yellow Fever
  • Zika Virus
  • Encephalitis

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has detected West Nile-infected mosquitoes in 17 municipalities in the state so far this year. Here is when and where 28 mosquitoes with a positive WNV were found in Massachusetts.

  1. Brookline 7/2
  2. Pittsfield (2) 7/7, 7/18
  3. Worcester (2) 7/7, 7/20
  4. West Springfield (2) 7/14, 7/21
  5. Boston 7/18
  6. Haverhill 7/24
  7. Watertown (6) 7/25
  8. Hadley 7/26
  9. South Hadley 7/26
  10. Burlington 8/1
  11. Waltham 8/1
  12. Quincy 8/2
  13. Holyoke 8/3
  14. Stoneham 8/7
  15. Woburn 8/7
  16. Halifax 8/7
  17. Kingston 8/7

The season’s first West Nile virus-positive mosquito sample was confirmed by the Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory from a mosquito sample that was collected on July 6 in Brookline of Norfolk County. 

According to, only a small number of mosquitoes are infected at any given time, so getting bitten by a mosquito does not mean you will get sick from them.

There are simple steps to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites, and the illnesses they can cause.

  • Use insect repellents any time you are outside.
  • Wear long-sleeved clothing.
  • Schedule outdoor activities to avoid the hours from dusk to dawn during peak mosquito season.
  • Repair damaged window and door screens.
  • Remove standing water from the areas around your home.

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