West Nile virus found in mosquito traps in Stafford

Ebony Scott
August 22, 2018

West Nile virus can cause a potentially serious illness that spreads when infected mosquitoes bite humans and other animals.

No cases of the virus have been detected in people, birds or horses. West Nile virus can infect anyone, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, but those over the age of 50 are at a higher risk for more severe disease. The virus is not contagious between people. Wearing long-sleeves, long trousers and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.

"The hot, humid weather in MA combined with frequent heavy rainfall has provided flawless conditions for mosquito species carrying West Nile Virus to breed", Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel said in a statement. "Move indoors if you are getting bitten", she added.

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If you are bitten by a mosquito and develop symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, fever or rash, you are advised to seek medical treatment. In rare cases, more severe illness can occur.

Illinois' surveillance for West Nile virus began May 1 and includes laboratory tests on mosquitoes, dead crows and blue jays, along with the testing of sick horses and humans with West Nile-like disease symptoms. West Nile virus infections in humans have been reported from June through October. Check the product label for instructions on proper use. "Mosquitoes that have tested positive for West Nile have also been identified in the city", he said.

"All residents, regardless of their location, should protect themselves and their families against mosquito bites". Standing water, often seen in birdbaths and flowerpots, are breeding grounds for mosquitoes and should be emptied regularly. In communities where there are organized mosquito control programs, contact your municipal government to report areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes.

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