Barnstable County Officials Issue Tips Following West Nile Detections

HYANNIS – With West Nile Virus detected in mosquitos from at least five Cape Cod towns, experts are issuing some tips on how to avoid the disease.

There have been no reported human or animal cases so far this summer.

Mosquito pools from Barnstable, Falmouth, Dennis, Bourne and Yarmouth have tested positive.

Based on those numbers, experts said it’s safe to assume West Nile is now in all 15 Cape Cod towns.

According to state health officials, West Nile is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.

While it can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection.

The following precautions have been issued by town and state officials:

Avoid Mosquito Bites:

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. 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.

Clothing can helpreduce mosquito bites. Although it may be

difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.

Apply Insect Repellentwhen you go outdoors. Use a repellent

with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] 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 three years of age. Permethrin products are intended for use on items such as clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear and should not be applied to skin.

Mosquito-Proof Your Home:

Drain Standing Water– Many mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or getting rid of 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– Some mosquitoes like to come indoors. Keep them outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

Information about WNV and reports of current and historical WNV virus activity in Massachusetts can be found on the MDPH website at:www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito.

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