New sample of Cambridge mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus
September 20, 2013
Cambridge mosquitoes collected last week have tested positive for West Nile virus, according to an announcement from state health officials on Sept. 19. The mosquito sample was collected from a trap in the Cambridgeport neighborhood. A Cambridge mosquito sample also tested positive for the virus in early August.
“While mosquitoes are dying off in September, those remaining are more likely to carry West Nile virus,” said Sam Lipson, director of environmental health for the Cambridge Public Health Department.
With cooler overnight temperatures, mosquito activity will be concentrated during the dusk and early evening hours.
“It is critical for residents—especially people who are over 50 or have a weak immune system—to use mosquito repellent or wear long-sleeved clothing when outdoors in the evening,” said Lipson.
Mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus have been found throughout Massachusetts this season, including Cambridge, Watertown, Belmont, Arlington, Boston, Brookline, and Newton.
The risk of West Nile virus infection will continue until the first hard frost, which typically occurs in late October or early November.
Residents can prevent mosquito bites in the dusk and evening hours by:
Using insect repellant
Wearing long sleeves and pants
Using nets on baby strollers
Removing stagnant water near their home
Information about West Nile virus in Massachusetts can be found on the state health department website at www.mass.gov/dph/wnv.
For local West Nile virus updates and prevention tips, call the Cambridge Public Health Department at 617-665-3848 or visit http://www.cambridgepublichealth.org/wnv.