State detects seventh West Nile Virus case this month

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (SHNS) – After announcing the first case and saying about two weeks ago that the risk of West Nile virus “has been slow to increase this year,” the Department of Public Health on Thursday reported the seventh human case of the virus this year.

A woman in her 30s was exposed to the mosquito-borne virus in Bristol County, making her the seventh person to be confirmed to have contracted the virus since Sept. 1, DPH said. DPH announced eight human cases of WNV in 2020 and five human cases in 2019.

Based on the latest human case and “mosquito findings,” DPH said it was elevating 11 communities — Fall River and Seekonk in Bristol County; North Andover in Essex County; Bridgewater, East Bridgewater, Halifax and Plympton in Plymouth County; and Blackstone, Hopedale, Milford and Millville in Worcester County — to its “moderate risk” category. In all, DPH said, 27 communities are at high risk for WNV activity and 49 others are at moderate risk.

“Risk from West Nile virus will continue until the first hard frost and people should remember to take steps to prevent mosquito bites anytime they are outdoors,” Acting Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke said.

DPH officials said people across Massachusetts should use mosquito repellents with an EPA-registered active ingredient, wear long sleeves and long pants when outdoors to reduce exposed skin, and stay aware of mosquito activity in the community.

Last year, Gov. Charlie Baker signed a law that gives the State Reclamation and Mosquito Control Board additional powers to fight mosquito-borne illnesses like EEE and West Nile virus when DPH determines there is an elevated risk.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories