Spread of West Nile, EEE causing concern

Diseases have shown up early this year

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – More mosquito problems have come to Massachusetts. For the first time this year, mosquitoes in Boston have tested positive for West Nile Virus.

The disease is spread through mosquito bites, and can lead to fever, chill, or rash; though many infected people exhibit no symptoms at all. It is generally less serious than Eastern Equine Encephalitis, which was detected in eastern Massachusetts in the past two weeks. EEE can often be deadly.

While so far, these mosquito-borne diseases have only been found in eastern Massachusetts, birds can carry the disease long distances to mosquitoes here in the western part of the state.

“It means that we need to be on notice and alert for it, because these overlapping bird flocks can move the disease large distances,” Bob Russell of American Pest Solutions said. “Mosquitoes picking it up along the way can spread it as well, so we need to be on alert and pay attention.”

So far, no human cases of EEE or West Nile have been detected in Massachusetts this year, but Russell noted that it is early for these diseases to be showing up in the state. The persistent warm temperatures and rainstorms have caused lots of standing water, which is where mosquitoes breed.

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