The First Case Of Human West Nile Virus Found In MA For 2021
I know that for many of us, summer is already over. Don't be fooled, though. There's still plenty of mosquito activity going on, especially after dusk. And some species of mosquito hang around well into fall.
The reason I bring this up? Yesterday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced the first human case of West Nile Virus found in the Bay State for 2021.
WTEN/News 10 Albany reports that the person who tested positive for WNV is a woman in her 80's and she most likely became exposed to the virus in Middlesex County. A majority of Middlesex County is known to be at a moderate risk level.
The state did not reveal the identity of the woman or the town where she lives. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health said in a media statement:
There are no risk level changes associated with this finding; there have been no deaths this year associated with WNV.
The DPH also said that the recent hot weather in addition to July's substantial rainfall totals has resulted in a population increase for the type of mosquito known to spread West Nile. Last year for 2020, five human cases of WNV infection were found in Massachusetts.
West Nile Virus symptoms can include flu-like illness and fever. While rare, more severe illnesses to the body's nervous system, such as meningitis or encephalitis, can occur. Some symptoms can last days and certain others can last weeks. And some neurological effects can be permanent.
Mosquitos tend to breed in places where standing water accumulates. The DPH recommends draining any standing water around your home and using insect repellant with DEET and wearing long sleeves.
For more on the story, please visit WNET's website here.