ARLINGTON, Mass. (DPH) – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced Thursday that West Nile Virus has been found in mosquitoes collected from Arlington.
WNV is transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus. People do not become infected by having direct contact with other infected people, birds or animals. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection.
“With the most recent heavy rains, we want to reiterate the importance of removing standing water from your property which can serve as a place for mosquitoes to breed as well as to avoid mosquito bites as much as possible,” said Christine Bongiorno, Arlington’s Director of Health and Human Services.
Below are tips from the DPH on how to protect yourself from mosquito borne illnesses:
Mosquito-Proofing Your Home
Drain Standing Water: Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or discarding 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: Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.
Avoiding Mosquito Bites
Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors: Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535 according to the instructions on the product label.
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.
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.
Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites: Wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.