Boston health officials reported Thursday afternoon that for the first time this summer, a sampling of mosquitoes has tested positive for West Nile Virus. The mosquitoes were found in Roslindale. No human cases of the virus have been detected so far this year.
“It’s again the time of year when it’s not surprising to find mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus in Boston,” said Dr. Anita Barry, director the Infectious Disease Bureau at the Boston Public Health Commission. “The recent combination of hot weather and rain may have contributed to West Nile appearing slightly earlier this year than in some previous years, and people should take some simple precautions to avoid mosquito bites.”
Recommended precautions include using insect repellant when outside, especially from dusk to dawn when mosquites are more likely to be biting, and wearing long pants and long sleeves. Check window and door screens are in good repair, and to keep mosquitoes from breeding, empty standing water in such things as empty flower pots, kiddie pools, and garbage cans.
The virus is spread to humans by bites from infected mosquitoes but the commission said in a release that the virus poses very low risk to people. Still, the city has begun putting larvicide in catch basins to reduce the number of mosquitoes.
For more information on the virus, call the Boston Public Health Commission at 617-534-5611 or visit www.bphc.org.