For Immediate Release: 7/5/2018 2:49 pm
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health told city officials today that West Nile Virus has been detected in mosquitoes collected from both Worcester and Auburn. No humans have tested positive for the virus.
During the summer months, MDPH collects routine samples of mosquitoes to monitor for West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
West Nile is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus. While West Nile can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection.
“Today’s announcement of the West Nile Virus detection is a reminder of the importance of protecting ourselves from the threat of mosquito-borne illness,” said Dr. Michael Hirsh, Medical Director for the Worcester Division of Public Health / Central MA Regional Public Health Alliance. “It’s important for the public to practice the Five D’s of prevention: Avoid being outdoors during DAWN and DUSK, when mosquitoes are most active; DRESS in long-sleeved clothing; use insect repellent with DEET; and DRAIN any standing water from around your home.”
In May 2018, the City of Worcester entered into a partnership with the Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project (CMMCP) to offer comprehensive mosquito control services and programs throughout the City this summer.
Together with the City of Worcester’s Division of Public Health and the Department of Inspectional Services, CMMCP will provide education about mosquito biology and personal protection, mosquito surveillance, ditch maintenance, research, tire recycling, beaver control, water mitigation and mosquito spraying. CMMCP staff will evaluate locations for trapping and testing in addition to working with the Department of Public Works & Parks on mitigating mosquito breeding areas in catch basins.
Tips for Avoiding Mosquito Bites:
Mosquito-Proof Your Home:
Information about West Nile Virus and reports of activity in Massachusetts can be found on the MDPH website at www.mass.gov/mosquito-borne-diseases.