MAYNARD — Town Administrator Greg Johnson and the Maynard Board of Health report that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has announced that West Nile Virus (WNV) has been detected in mosquitoes collected in town.
The Town of Maynard is still at the lowest risk level for both WNV and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).
WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus. The mosquitoes that carry this virus are common throughout the state and are found in urban as well as more rural areas.
While the virus can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at a higher risk for severe infection. Although there have been no human cases of WNV detected in Massachusetts this year, it is important for residents to be aware and take precautions.
“The best way to prevent West Nile Virus is to prevent mosquito bites,” said Megan Zammuto, Assistant Town Administrator and Executive Director of Municipal Services. “We are offering these safety tips to residents, and ask them to stay indoors during peak mosquito times.”
The Town of Maynard recommends the following precautionary measures:
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% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under 3 years old. Permethrin products are intended for use on items such as clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear and should not be applied to skin.
- Clothing can help reduce mosquito bites. Wearing long sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
- 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 the evening or early morning. If you are outdoors at any time and notice mosquitoes around you, take steps to avoid being bitten by moving indoors, covering up and/or wearing repellant.
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 birdbaths frequently.
- Install or repair screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.
Information about WNV and reports of current and historical WNV activity in Massachusetts can be found on the DPH website.