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West Nile Virus Surfaces in Massachusetts

With Zika being in the news daily it might be easy to forget that there are other mosquito-borne illnesses of concern. Zika is definitely not the only risk. WCBV Channel 5 reports that on July 1st the Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory collected samples from mosquitoes in Worcester that tested positive for West Nile Virus. “This is an expected finding at this time of year, and given the heat and dry conditions we have been experiencing, we are expecting to see more and more West Nile virus activity,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Al DeMaria. State officials do not see any elevation of risk levels at this point, as no human or animal cases have been reported, but you can continue to follow this evolving risk level on their website.  

How Dangerous Is West Nile?

West Nile in Massachusetts only claimed 2 lives in 2015 according to the CDC. However, that is still too many. Not different from other mosquito-borne illnesses, most people will not have symptoms at all. 1 in 5 people infected will develop a fever headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. The weakness and fatigue that goes along with these symptoms can last for weeks or even months, but full recovery is likely. However, there can be a huge risk for a certain group of people. If you are over 60, have had an organ transplant, have cancer, kidney disease, diabetes, or hypertension you could be in this group. In less than 1% of people that contract West Nile serious neurological will occur including encephalitis or meningitis (swelling of the brain). Some of these effects could become permanent, and 10% of these people will die. To prevent West Nile Virus in Fall River and South Shore it’s important to stay vigilant in protection.

Mosquito Squad of Southeastern Massachusetts reminds you that this is the time of year when mosquitoes are at their worst. When you go out in areas that could be heavily infested dress appropriately and use bug treatment that contains strong repellent. In your yard be sure to follow the 5 Ts of mosquito control, keeping areas that attract mosquitoes to a minimum. Most of all let us protect you with our barrier treatment. We can eliminate 85-90% of mosquitoes and ticks in your yard by misting every 2-3 weeks. We will even pro-rate the rest of this mosquito season if you are just now calling to schedule service, so there is no chance of feeling like you are paying for more than you are getting!