West Nile Virus Detected In Massachusetts For The First Time This Year


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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — State officials have detected West Nile virus (WNV) in Massachusetts for the first time this year.

The presence of the virus was confirmed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health through a mosquito sample that was collected on June 29 in Medford.

No human or animal cases of WNV or Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) have been detected so far in 2021.

“The first WNV infected mosquito of the season is always a signal that it is time to start taking steps to avoid mosquito bites,” DPH Acting Commissioner Margret Cooke said.

In order to prevent mosquito bites, health officials recommend things like using bug repellent, wearing longer clothing, draining standing water, and repairing window screens in homes.

When infected with WNV, patients tend to experience symptoms that are similar to the flu -- like running a fever.

There were 8 human cases of WNV detected in Massachusetts in 2020 and 49 cases detected in 2018 -- the most in a single year.

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Written by Rachel Armany

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