Health, News

West Nile Virus detected in a mosquito in Nahant

NAHANT  West Nile Virus has been detected in a mosquito in Nahant, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH).

The agency said it found mosquitoes with the virus in six communities statewide, including ones collected from a trap in town. 

This is the first positive test of the mosquito season, said Town Administrator Tony Barletta, who is in contact with the DPH and Northeast Massachusetts Mosquito Control about the next steps to be taken.

Catch basins and other areas in Nahant were treated earlier this season, he said.

While the symptoms are similar, West Nile is not Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). It is a mosquito-carried virus that can cause illness ranging from a mild fever to more serious diseases such as encephalitis or meningitis. It is commonly spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. West Nile was first identified in the U.S. in 1999.

The mosquito season is not over and the town is urging residents to protect themselves. Prevention includes repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, and avoiding outdoor activities between dawn and dusk.

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