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Mosquitoes in Watertown test positive for West Nile

The state Department of Public Health has notified Watertown that West Nile virus has been found in samples of mosquitoes taken in town.

The town’s health department issued a statement to residents on Friday noting that it is not unusual for mosquitoes to carry viruses “in this warm, dry weather.”

The notice came three days after the state announced that a resident of Middlesex County, a woman in her 70s, is the first person this year to be infected with West Nile. It is not known what town in Middlesex County the woman lives. A total of 25 cities and towns in Middlesex County, including Cambridge and Newton, have had mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus, according to data tracked by the state public health department.


Watertown has taken steps to limit the public’s exposure to the disease-carrying mosquitoes.

Insecticide has been applied to over 3,400 catch basins to prevent the hatching of new mosquitoes, the health department said in a statement.

Traps have been set to catch mosquitoes, and insects continue to be tested for the virus, the release stated.

Residents are advised to limit exposure to mosquitoes, whose activity increases from dusk to dawn. People are advised to wear long shirts, pants and socks when outdoor during that period.

Mosquito netting shuld be placed over baby carriages and playpens when outdoors, the town stated.

Residents should also remove water from wheelbarrows, garbage cans, pots and other places where water collects, among other steps.

Adam Sennott can be reached at