Department of Public Health
Thomas Carbone, Director of Public Health
36 Bartlet St.
Andover, MA 01810
Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Andover Public Health Division Provides Residents With Mosquito Safety Tips
ANDOVER – The Andover Public Health Division is encouraging residents to take several safety precautions to avoid mosquito transmitted illnesses this summer and fall.
In this area, mosquitoes are most prevalent from May to August, but remain active until the first time temperatures fall below freezing. In Massachusetts, mosquitoes can spread West Nile Virus and eastern equine encephalitis (EEE).
Until September, mosquitoes are collected and tested weekly for these viruses. So far, no mosquitoes have come back positive for West Nile Virus or EEE in the Andover area, where the risk level for human infection remains low.
West Nile Virus infections can cause fever, headache and body aches, with a skin rash and swollen lymph glands. A small number of people who are infected can develop a more serious illness, which can cause headaches, high fever, stiff neck, confusion, muscle weakness, tremors, convulsions, coma, paralysis, swelling of the brain and even death.
Symptoms of EEE include high fever, stiff neck, headache, and lack of energy. Encephalitis, the swelling of the brain, is the most dangerous complication of EEE and can cause coma and death. Residents should see their doctor if they develop any symptoms of West Nile Virus or EEE.
While only a small number of mosquitoes are infected at any given time and not all mosquitoes carry germs and diseases, many do. The best way to avoid getting sick from these diseases is to prevent mosquito bites.
“Getting a mosquito bite does not necessarily mean that you are going to get sick, but we want to be sure that our residents are educated and taking all necessary precautions to prevent mosquito bites altogether,” said Thomas Carbone, Andover Director of Public Health. “Residents should remember that mosquitoes remain active even after the summer is over, and to continue wearing insect repellent well into the fall months.”
The Andover Public Health Division encourages residents to follow these tips provided by Massachusetts Department of Public Health:
- Use insect repellent with DEET any time you are outdoors. Be sure to follow the application directions on the label.
- Be aware of peak mosquito hours, which are generally from dusk to dawn. Wear protective clothing when outdoors during peak mosquito hours such as long sleeves, long pants, high socks, hats with netting to cover the face, and any other clothing that will cover exposed skin.
- Use mosquito netting around baby carriages or child playpens when your baby is outdoors.
- Make sure screens are repaired and are tightly attached to doors and windows.
- Remove standing water from places such as puddles, ditches, birdbaths and gutters, which are breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Anyone with questions about how to keep themselves protected from mosquitoes should contact the Andover Health Division at 978-623-8295.