BOSTON (WWLP) – State health officials have confirmed the first human case of West Nile Virus in Massachusetts this year. According to a news release sent to 22News by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, a man in his 60’s who lives in Middlesex County has been diagnosed with the disease. Testing was completed on Friday.
The man is in the hospital, but is recovering. Officials are still looking into where the patient may have been exposed to the virus, which is spread by mosquitoes. They have not disclosed exactly where the man lives.
West Nile Virus can cause fever, headaches, and muscular weakness. Most patients recover, but the disease can be deadly, particularly for the very old and the very young. West Nile infections are most common in the late summer and early autumn. There were a total of eight human cases of West Nile detected in Massachusetts last year.
State health officials are urging state residents to take precautions to prevent infection, including wearing insect repellent containing DEET, wearing long sleeves, and removing any standing water from your property.