Health Officials Identify Two Additional West Nile Cases

HYANNIS – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has announced two additional human cases of West Nile virus.

The latest infections were reported in a woman exposed in Essex County and a man exposed in Middlesex County.

The woman and man were in their 70s and 60s, respectively. 

With the two infections, the total number of human cases of WNV is brought to six, with one animal case.

Several communities in Essex County have been raised to moderate risk of WNV in response, including Boxford, Essex, Georgetown, Hamilton, Ipswich, Manchester, Newbury, Rowely and Tospfield. 

Twenty-one communities across Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk and Suffolk counties are at high risk, according to the Department of Health.

Health officials said that mosquito activity may become more intense around dusk and dawn as overnight temperatures become cooler as the summer draws to a close. 

“There are large numbers of mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus right now in parts of Massachusetts due to a nearly perfect combination of periodic rain and warm temperatures,” said Acting Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke in a statement. 

“All six of our human cases have been in people over the age of 50. It is especially critical that people at risk for severe disease, such as those over 50 and anyone with immune compromise, remember to take steps to prevent mosquito bites anytime they are outdoors.”

Health officials said that the public can avoid mosquito bites by utilizing insect repellents and by wearing long sleeves and long pants.

Residents are also urged to drain standing water on their property in order to limit the number of places mosquitoes can lay their eggs.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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