West Nile Virus Confirmed in Mosquitoes in City of Malden

Photo by Aesum via Flickr

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced on July 6 that West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitoes collected from Malden. This is the first time this year that mosquitoes inMaldenhave tested positive forWest Nile virus. The first of two spray treatments took place on July 6 in the Delta Terrace area, where the mosquitoes were identified.

According to Maria L Tamagna, R.N., Malden Board of Health, by the day of July 13, “There have been no reported cases of a human infection.”

The City of Malden has posted all the precautions on the city web site, in the press release and in the reverse 911 informational call.

“We have conducted a reverse 911 informational call to the high risk area, to inform our residents. The areas of known high risk will continue to be monitored throughout the summer, and treated as necessary,” said Tamagna.

West Nile virus is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquitoes that carry this virus are common throughout the state, and are found in urban as well as more rural areas. While West Nile Virus can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection.

“The mosquitoes are most harmful to persons age 50 and over. With death more often to occur to people over age 70.  The adult population is more often at risk to be bitten because, the insect bites a motionless human, which is Interesting because adults are less likely to use insect repellent.” Said Tamagna.

According to her, there are traps set up throughout the City, adjacent wetlands and water drains. When a mosquito is identified in a specific area, the area will be alerted.

“[I will pay] more attention against dirty water or waste surrounded my house, I’ll just keep cleaning up to make sure they don’t have a chance to survival or exist. I’ll just suggest others don’t let their kids play outside the house.” Taylor Tai, 32, resident ofMalden, said after knowing the confirmation.

As suggested by the City of Malden, by taking a few, common-sense precautions, residents can help protect themselves and their families:

 

Avoid Mosquito Bites

 

Peak Mosquito biting hours are from dusk to dawn. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning. If you are outdoors at any time and notice mosquitoes around you, take steps to avoid being bitten by moving indoors, covering up and/or wearing repellant.

 

Protective Clothing can help reduce mosquito bites. Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.

 

Apply Insect Repellent when you go outdoors.

 

Mosquito-Proof Your Home

 

Drain Standing Water – Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or getting rid of items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools.

 

Install or Repair Screens – Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

 

While the Malden Board of Health continues to work closely with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and other agencies, you can find updated information at www.cityofmalden.org and the City ofMalden Face Book page.

 

Information about West Nile Virus and reports of current and historical West Nile Virus activity in Massachusettscan be found on the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website athttp://www.mass.gov/dph/wnv.

 

For more information, please contact Christopher Webb, Board of Health Director at 781-397-7049 orcwebb@cityofmalden.org.

 

 

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