BOSTON (WWLP) – The sixth case of West Nile virus (WNV) has been detected in Massachusetts this year.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) says that the patient is a man in his 60s, likely exposed in Middlesex County, which is an area reported to be at an increased risk with the rest of the Greater Boston Area. The DPH says that risk from the mosquito-borne illness will continue until the first hard frost.

In 2021, there were 11 confirmed human WNV cases across the state. Symptoms typically present as fever and flu-like illness, but in rare cases, more severe illness can occur. While most people infected with WNV show no symptoms, the DPH says that people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe disease.

The DPH gives the following recommendations to avoid mosquito transmitted diseases: use bug spray when outdoors, be aware of peak mosquito hours, wear long clothing, drain standing water, and install or repair screens. The DPH also stresses the importance of protecting our furry friends, because pets are also at risk of mosquito-borne illness.

More information can be found at www.mass.gov/mosquito-borne-diseases or by calling the DPH Epidemiology Program at (617) 983-6800.