Town of Arlington
Department of Health and Human Services
Christine Bongiorno, Director
27 Maple St.
Arlington, MA 02476
For Immediate Release
Friday, Sept. 23, 2016
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Christine Bongiorno
Email: [email protected]
Arlington Resident Tests Positive for West Nile Virus
Arlington Elevated to High Risk Level for Human Infection
ARLINGTON — Christine Bongiorno, Director of Health and Human Services, reports that an Arlington resident has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). As a result of the positive human case, as well as multiple pools of mosquitoes that have tested positive in Arlington and the surrounding communities, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has elevated Arlington to a high-risk level for human infection.
“This is the first resident who has been infected by the West Nile Virus in Arlington this year,” Bongiorno said. “We are urging everyone in Arlington and the surrounding communities to take extra caution while outside to prevent themselves from contracting the disease.”
In addition, the weather is expected to continue to promote mosquito growth. The Arlington Health Department strongly urges residents to continue to take action to prevent mosquito breeding and avoid mosquito bites:
Mosquito-proof your home
- Drain standing water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in bird baths frequently.
- Install or repair screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.
Avoid mosquito bites
- Apply insect repellent when outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET or oil of lemon eucalyptus. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30 percent or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under 3 years old.
- Be aware of peak mosquito hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning.
- Clothing can help reduce mosquito bites. Wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus. DPH reports that there were 10 human cases of WNV in 2015. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection.
The Town of Arlington works to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes by treating all storm water catch basins in town, treating wetland areas and working with property owners to remove large sources of standing water, such as abandoned swimming pools. For more information about WNV, please visit: mass.gov/dph/mosquito.