EAST BRIDGEWATER — The East Bridgewater Board of Health reports that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has announced that West Nile Virus (WNV) has been detected in mosquitoes collected from East Bridgewater.
The Town received the notification today, Sept. 3 that West Nile Virus was detected from samples earlier this week. The WNV risk level for East Bridgewater has not been elevated at this time, but health officials are monitoring the situation very closely.
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.
“We urge all East Bridgewater residents to take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites given the notification we received this week,” said East Bridgewater BOH representative Susan Mulloy. “This includes applying insect repellent and wearing proper clothing when outdoors, and mosquito-proofing your home. The East Bridgewater Board of Health will continue to keep residents aware of the latest information regarding West Nile Virus in the community, and will alert residents if the threat level for WNV needs to be raised in the future.”
The East Bridgewater Board of Health recommends the following precautionary measures for residents:
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.