Worcester, MA (July 7, 2011) - Due to the high levels of rainfall this year, Worcester may experience significant levels of mosquito activity, increasing the risk of exposure to mosquito-borne diseases. Summertime is also when residents have to be cautious about Lyme disease, which is tick-borne.
To combat this risk, the City’s Division of Public Health launched the "Fight the Bite" campaign to promote education and awareness of insect-borne diseases in Worcester. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA-DPH) will also continue its mosquito surveillance program in order to properly monitor the City’s mosquito population for these diseases.
"Incidences of mosquito-borne West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis have been on the rise statewide the past few years, with two confirmed cases of West Nile in Worcester County in 2010. Incidence of the deer tick carried illness Lyme Disease has also increased with 420 cases in Worcester County out of the 4,028 Massachusetts cases in 2009," said Dr. B. Dale Magee, City’s Public Health Commissioner. "Although these diseases are usually not life-threatening, they can be quite serious, especially in children and seniors."
Many of the sports and recreational activities in which children and adults are likely to participate can occur during the evening and dusk hours, the time of the day when many kinds of mosquitoes are actively biting. Other mosquitoes feed during daylight hours. Physical exertion and sweating may also change individual attractiveness to mosquitoes and may decrease the time that repellents are effective.
By taking a few, common-sense precautions, people can help to protect themselves and their loved ones. The City’s Division of Public Health urges individuals to take simple steps to reduce their risks and ensure a fun and healthy summer season.
Avoid Mosquito Bites
Mosquito-Proof Your Home
Information about WNV and reports of WNV activity in Massachusetts can be found on the MDPH website under A for arbovirus in the Health Topics A to Z index. Recorded information about WNV is also available by calling the MDPH Public Health Information Line at 1-866-MASS-WNV (1-866-627-7968).