The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDH) announced that a mosquito collected in one of their samples tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). The mosquito was found July 3rd 2014 in a trap used by MDH to look for mosquito viruses. It is a bit early in the summer to find a mosquito positive for WNV. Perhaps our warmer weather and frequent thunderstorms helped boost the mosquito populations more than we hoped. Spraying was planned for the area immediately after the finding.
Fortunately, no human cases have been reported this year. In 2013, Massachusetts had 8 human cases of West Nile Virus infection. If infected, some of us will experience no symptoms at all. For those of us over 50 years of age, the risk increases for symptoms that are more serious. Fever, headache, eye pain, skin rash, tiredness, nausea, diarrhea and swollen lymph glands are all symptoms of a serious WNV infection.
WNV infections are beginning to increase across the US. A recent CBS news story, West Nile is making a comeback, reports that 9 states have already reported WNV cases this year. The story further states that about 20% of those infected will experience one or more symptoms. Ten percent of those with a more serious WNV infection will succumb to the illness, as 1,660 people have done since 2000. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates WNV is under-reported each year, since its flu-like symptoms are so similar to other viral infections.
There are more than 10 mosquito diseases present in the US. Some are more common and familiar to us, like West Nile Virus (WNV), Dog Heartworm and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). The US has seen outbreaks of all 10 of them at one time or another in our history. Reducing the number of bites you receive will also reduce your risk of an infection.
We want to tell you that it is possible for you to use your yard and prevent 85-90% or more of the mosquitoes in your yard. Whether you are entertaining friends, enjoying family time or simply relaxing with a good book, we all want to be outside as much as possible during warmer months. Winters are long enough in MA, so enjoying summer is important.
Mosquito Squad of Leominster uses a proven and effective barrier spray that eliminates both mosquitoes and ticks all summer long on your property. Give us a call to discuss how we can reduce your exposure to mosquitoes and the diseases they carry.