Department of Public Health
Thomas Carbone, Director of Public Health
36 Bartlet St.
Andover, MA 01810
Friday, Sept. 2, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Andover Public Health Division Urges Residents to Protect Themselves from Mosquito Bites
ANDOVER – The Andover Public Health Division is urging the community to take the necessary precautions against mosquito bites after mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile Virus in North Reading, a neighboring community.
“Although the nights will be getting cooler, it is vital that people are taking proactive measures to protect themselves against mosquito-borne illnesses and mosquito bites altogether,” said Thomas Carbone, Andover Director of Public Health. “We tend to see viruses amplify in the mosquito population during this time of year, so we should assume the virus is there even if the testing hasn’t identified it yet.”
In this area, mosquitoes are most prevalent from May to August, but remain active until the first time temperatures fall below freezing.
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.
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 altogether.
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.