West Nile Virus Confirmed in Mosquitoes from the Town of Barnstable

BARNSTABLE – The West Nile Virus has been detected in mosquitoes collected from Cotuit.

That’s according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health who informed the Town of Barnstable Public Health Division about the discovery.

Barnstable officials contacted the Cape Cod Mosquito Control program, who are planning to conduct increased mosquito control treatment in Cotuit, including treating wetlands and catch basins with larvicides.

Last year, the first West Nile Virus detection in Barnstable came in August.

The county confirmed earlier this week that a batch of mosquitoes tested last month in Woods Hole and Bourne came back positive for West Nile Virus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the virus is spread through mosquito bites but is difficult to detect.

“In most cases, the infection is so mild that people don’t even know that they have it, but in rare cases, West Nile leads to severe illness that affects the brain or the spinal cord,” said McKean. “People older than 50 are at the highest risk.”

Officials ask that people wear protective clothing and use proper insect repellent.

It’s also recommended that homeowners make sure to drain standing water that may have accumulated on their property.

McKeon said taking precautions should be on everyone’s mind until the weather changes.

“When we get to the first frost, that’s when we’re no longer going to be concerned about mosquitoes, so when we get to the colder weather at the end of October, there will be less of a concern,” said McKeon.

The West Nile Virus was first found in mosquitos in Massachusetts in 2000.

In 2016, 6,400 mosquito samples were tested for West Nile Virus and 189 samples were positive.

Information about West Nile Virus and reports of activity in the state during this summer can be found at www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito.

By JUSTIN SAUNDERS, CapeCod.com Newscenter

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