Confirmed Cases of West Nile Are Hitting Too Close for Comfort

When you think of the deadliest predator on earth what comes to mind? For many of us the bear, alligator or shark are the first creatures we imagine. The truth is the tiny mosquito claims more lives due to the illness and disease it carries and passes onto humans than any large scaled predator that we see in our nightmares. Mosquito-borne illnesses such as Malaria claim the lives of an estimated one million people each year. To help in eradicate this deadly disease, Mosquito Squad of the North Shore donates $10 for every barrier treatment customer to the Malaria No More campaign.

Malaria was eradicated from the United States in 1949, when the country was declared free of malaria as a significant public health problem. However, there are a number of dangerous mosquito-borne illnesses that are very active here in the US and of these West Nile Virus is probably the most prevalent here in Massachusetts.

West Nile Virus is an arbovirus that is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. West Nile Virus can produce one of three outcomes in humans. These three distinct reactions to the illness are asymptomatic, febrile and neuroinvasive which can turn into West Nile Meningitis or West Nile Encephalitis which can cause inflammation of the brain and damage to the central nervous system and even death.

Asymptomatic infections generally  display few or no symptoms following a typical 2-8 day incubation period. If the disease then worsens, those infected can then develop febrile West Nile. Symptoms of febrile West Nile usually include headache, chills, sweatiness, fever, and joint pain similar to the onset of being infected with the seasonal flu. In some cases the patient may experience vomiting, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms, but these are less common. In most cases these febrile symptoms will resolve within 10 days. More severe cases of West Nile can cause Meningitis and Encephalitis which can lead to coma and death.

For residents on the North Shore West Nile Virus is hitting early and too close to home this season. Recent reports indicate the first infection of West Nile virus in a mosquito in the state this year. According to a recent article published by, public health officials say the State Laboratory Institute this past Friday confirmed the virus infection in a mosquito sample collected in Whitman, Mass. Even though there have been no confirmed cases of the virus in humans, public health officials are concerned.

In 2012, there were 307 confirmed cases of the virus found in mosquitoes and an additional 33 confirmed West Nile Virus infections in humans resulting in the first human fatality from West Nile since 2005. The abundant rain thus far this season, paired with debris and overgrowth still present from the destruction of hurricane Sandy in 2012 make the perfect conditions for mosquitoes to breed and thrive which has officials and residents on high alert in regards to West Nile Virus this season.

The key to protecting yourself and your loved ones from the risk of West Nile Virus is exercising mosquito control and prevention here on the North Shore. If you remove the reason for potential illness from the equation then you eliminate the risk factor. Successful mosquito control and prevention starts at home by taking control of your surroundings and making your property less appealing to mosquitoes. Mosquito Squad has devised a simple checklist of the 5T’s of mosquito control that informs you of the ways to keep mosquitoes away from your property and away from you and your family. In order to effectively wipe out your risk, it is important to make a habit out of these precautions which include prompt removal of standing water, or vessels that could easily become filled with water by frequent inspections of your property.

Mosquito Squad of the North Shore offers an intensive mosquito control program that controls and prevents mosquitoes all season. Our safe and effective barrier sprays are misted on schedule throughout the mosquito season and ensure no gaps in your mosquito control. We also offer an automatic mosquito misting system that is highly effective in a residential setting.

Our goal is to completely protect you from mosquitoes and the many diseases they carry for the entire season. Contact Mosquito Squad of the North Shore to learn more.