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    First positive West Nile virus mosquito sample of 2018 detected in Massachusetts

    It’s summer, and West Nile virus is officially back in Massachusetts, state health officials announced Tuesday.

    A mosquito sample from Weymouth tested positive for the virus — the first in the state this year, according to the Department of Public Health. West Nile virus has not been detected in any humans or animals this year, the department said in a statement.

    “There is no elevated risk level or risk-level change associated with this finding,” the statement said.


    West Nile virus is often first detected in late June, Deputy State Epidemiologist Catherine Brown said.

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    The virus is typically transmitted to humans though infected mosquitoes, and its symptoms can include fever and flu-like illness.

    Last year, six cases of West Nile virus in humans were reported in the state. The first of the year was announced in September.

    There are several steps you can take to prevent West Nile virus, according to health officials:

    ■ Apply bug repellent when outside, but be mindful of using certain chemical ingredients like DEET on small children.


    ■ Be mindful of peak mosquito hours, which typically fall around early evening or early morning.

    ■ Drain standing water around your home.

    ■ Install or repair screens in your home so they are fit tightly.

    ■ Protect your animals by keeping them indoors at night and flush out troughs and water bowls to prevent mosquito breeding.

    J.D. Capelouto can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jdcapelouto.