West Nile on the Increase

(AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

BOSTON – The state Department of Public Health has elevated the risk level for the transmission of West Nile Virus in the Commonwealth from low to moderate.

The move comes after 162 cities and towns in the state have tested mosquitos who show up positive for the disease out of a total of 351 cities and towns.

“The hot, humid weather in Massachusetts combined with frequent heavy rainfall has provided perfect for mosquito species carrying West Nile Virus top Breed,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “I strongly encourage everyone to keep using insect repellant and be especially aware of mosquito activity at dusk and dawn when the risk for mosquito bites is greatest.”

The agency is reminding residents to rid their properties of standing water, which mosquitos use to lay their eggs.

West Nile can be transmitted to any age group, but those over fifty are at greatest risk for severe effects of the disease.

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