Unfortunately, mosquitoes in the Eastern part of MA have just tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV). Eastern Equine Encephalitis was detected in mosquitoes in Plymouth County, Mass. West Nile Virus (WNV) was detected in mosquitoes in Boston recently according to WWLP.com. Their story discussed EEE and WNV in Spread of West Nile, EEE causing concern. Here’s why it’s important to know there are mosquitoes currently infected with these mosquito-borne diseases.
Both infectious viruses are carried by birds and are transmitted to mosquitoes when the mosquitoes bite the birds for their blood meal. A female mosquito’s blood meal is necessary for it to develop and lay eggs. Not every mosquito that bites an infected bird will become infected. When they do become infected, the transmission to humans is likely to occur soon after the infection. Female mosquitoes often need to bite several times to get a blood meal sufficient to develop the next generation. When a mosquito infected by a bird chooses us for their next blood meal, their infection can be transmitted.
The reason why scientists monitor mosquito traps every summer is to determine the point in the season infected mosquitoes in the area are showing up. If it occurs early in the summer, there is of course a longer period for humans to become infected until mosquitoes go dormant due to cold weather. With the first cases of transmission from birds to mosquitoes coming so early this year, scientists are very concerned the number of cases for WNV and EEE may be high this year on North Shore MA.
In the case of EEE, the transmission of the disease from mosquitoes to humans does not occur frequently. Recently, Fox News’s Medical Expert, Dr. Marc Siegel, discussed the transmission of EEE in a story titled, Deadly EEE virus detected in mosquitoes in Massachusetts. He explains that although the disease is not commonly transmitted to humans, 1/3 will die from it if infected. EEE claimed one life last year in Massachusetts.
West Nile Virus is more commonly transmitted to humans and although there is no cure, most will recover. In severe cases of WNV where encephalitis or meningitis occurs, 1 in 10 will succumb to the disease according to the National Institute of Health. People over the age of 50 are particularly at risk to experience the more serious symptoms of WNV and EEE.
Many health officials recommend an effective barrier spray for your yard to prevent these diseases. Since many of us spend most of our time outdoors in our own yard, a proven and effective barrier spray will eliminate 85-90% of the adult mosquitoes there. Barrier sprays, such as the one used by Mosquito Squad of the North Shore also reduce the number of new mosquitoes being born each cycle. Customers find our barrier spray allows them to use their yard more during the summer. This is the time of year when all of us want to spend more time outdoors.
To learn more about our highly effective barrier sprays for mosquitoes and ticks, as well as our tick-tube program, contact Mosquito Squad of the North Shore. Call us today to sign up.