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Ninth human case of West Nile virus reported in a Middlesex County woman

Another Massachusetts resident has been infected with West Nile virus, state health officials said Wednesday afternoon -- a woman in her 30s who lives in Middlesex County and has recovered from the illness.

The state Department of Public Health also reported that it has raised the West Nile virus threat level to “critical” in Chicopee and to “high” in Granby, Holyoke, Springfield, South Hadley, and West Springfield, after a horse stabled in Hampden County was found infected.

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“These results show that the threat of mosquito-borne illness remains a serious concern across the state,” state epidemiologist Dr. Al DeMaria said in a statement. “We need to continue to take steps to protect ourselves against mosquito bites: use insect repellant, cover up, and avoid outdoor activities at dusk and after nightfall when mosquitoes are at their most active.”

Mosquitoes infected with West Nile have been found in 101 cities and towns in nine counties this year, and nine human cases have been reported -- seven in Middlesex County, one in Hampden, and one in Berkshire. Last year there were six cases.

Gideon Gil can be reached at ggil@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeGideon.
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