BOSTON (24/7 NewsSource/WBZ-AM) -- State public health officials are confirming the fourth human case of the West Nile virus in Massachusetts this year.
Officials say a woman in her 50s from Middlesex County is the latest confirmed case of the mosquito borne illness. The other three cases are another Middlesex County women, a Worcester County woman in her 70s and a woman in her 50s from Suffolk County. None of the victims have died from the virus, and in the most recent case, the woman was not even hospitalized--only one case required hospitalization.
The risk of contracting West Nile Virus is now considered "high" in eleven communities around Boston. When health officials decided one week ago to raise the level from "low" to "moderate," it was only the second time ever, and there still hadn't been a human case reported.
Dr. Catherine Brown, State Epidemiologist for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 about the new case.
"Since Friday, we've actually reported out four human cases," she said. "To us, that suggests that the risk that more people will get West Nile Virus in that same area is increased."
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.
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WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Kendall Buhl (@KBuhlWBZ) reports