Positive Mosquito Sample Detected in Belmont
ARLINGTON — Public Health Director Natasha Waden is urging residents to take precautions against West Nile Virus (WNV).
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) announced today that mosquito samples in the Town of Belmont have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). Although there have been no human cases of WNV detected this year, it is important for residents to be aware and take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.
“We want to remind residents that the possibility of contracting a mosquito-borne illness remains as long as West Nile Virus is circulating in the area,” Waden said. “We advise residents to be responsible when outdoors to prevent mosquito bites, especially during dawn and dusk, and to take precautions around your home to prevent mosquito breeding.”
WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus. In 2019, there were five human cases of WNV in Massachusetts. While the virus can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at a higher risk for severe infection.
Arlington works to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes by treating all storm water catch basins in town and wetland areas, and by working with property owners to remove large sources of standing water like abandoned swimming pools.
Additionally, the Arlington Board of Health recommends the following safety tips:
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 to discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty and unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths 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 (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535 according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30 precent 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 fro 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.
For more information about WNV, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website by clicking here.