SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts - The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) announced today that West Nile Virus (WNV) has been detected in mosquitoes collected from the Town of Shrewsbury. Routine samples are collected in order for public health officials to monitor WNV and EEE during the summer months. Although there have not been any human cases reported this year, the detection of positive mosquitoes reminds us that human cases of West Nile Virus can occur.
WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection.
The Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project (CMMCP) will be conducting spraying in the northeast corner of Shrewsbury after 8:00 p.m. on the evening of August 20th to reduce populations of mosquitoes (rain date August 21st). For a detailed map of area to be sprayed, click the SPRAY MAP document at the end of this announcement.
“The positive West Nile Virus detection from samples collected this week in Shrewsbury are a reminder of the importance of preventing mosquito borne illness by following simple, common-sense, precautionary steps,” said Michael Hirsh, MD, Acting Commissioner of Public Health, City of Worcester/Central MA Regional Public Health Alliance. “There is no need for community members to panic regarding this detection, following the 5 D’s of prevention is an easy way to help your family decrease the risk of mosquito bites.”
Simple and effective precaution can be utilized to help decrease the risk of mosquito bites.
Practice the 5 D’s.
- DEET: Apply insect repellent when outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus (p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)) or IR3535, according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30 percent or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.
- DUSK AND DAWN: Be aware of peak mosquito hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning.
- DRESS: Wearing long sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from the skin and help reduce mosquito bites.
- DRAIN: Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around a home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools and change water in birdbaths frequently.
These simple steps in addition to mosquito proofing your home by installing or repairing screens will reduce you and your family’s risk of exposure.
Information about WNV and reports of WNV activity in Massachusetts can be found on the MDPH website at http://www.mass.gov/dph/wnv
For information regarding spraying call CMMCP at (508) 393-3055 or log on to their website at www.cmmcp.org.
Here is a link tot he spraying schedule http://www.shrewsbury-ma.gov/egov/docs/13765080362459.pdf