West Nile Risk Raised In Massachusetts

mosquito skeeter

(Getty Images/doug4537)

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- The risk level for West Nile Virus in Massachusetts has been raised.

It's only the second time ever that public officials have raised the state-wide risk level for West Nile from low to moderate. There have been no reported human cases in the Commonwealth, but 162 communities are considered to be at moderate risk.

Dr. Catherine Brown of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health described the symptoms of the virus.

"Twenty percent of people will end up with kind of fever chills, and they're going to feel pretty crummy for seven to ten days," she said. "It's the small proportion of people where the virus actually gets into the brain and causes very severe illness, and even occasionally death."

People over 50 are at a higher risk for the disease being severe. The hot, humid weather--combined with frequent heavy rainfall--provided perfect conditions for mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus to breed.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Mike Macklin reports

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