State Health Officials Record First Human West Nile Virus Patient for 2018

HYANNIS – State health officials have confirmed the first human case of West Nile Virus on Cape Cod this year.

The case of a man in his 70’s from Barnstable County was among nine new cases identified last week. He was hospitalized and is expected to recover.

The Department of Public Health said there have now been 38 cases of West Nile virus human cases this year.

That’s the highest number of cases Massachusetts has ever recorded in a single year. The previous record was 33 cases in 2012.

“The forecast includes some warm fall temperatures,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. 

“Mosquitoes might still be active and it remains important for people to use mosquito repellent and wear long sleeves to reduce exposed skin.”

In 2017, there were six human cases of WNV infection identified in Massachusetts.

West Nile is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. 

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

Symptoms tend to include fever and flu-like illness. In rare cases, more severe illness can occur.

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