A second Boston resident has been confirmed positive with West Nile virus (WNV) this year, prompting health officials to warn the public of the increased of the mosquito borne virus.

Image/GDJ via pixabay
Image/GDJ via pixabay

In the past two years, there was one reported human case in Boston. This is the fifth case in Massachusetts this year.

Within the last week, the total number of mosquito pools that tested positive for WNV in Suffolk County have nearly doubled to 15. A second type of mosquito has also been reported. This mosquito type is primarily active during daytime hours unlike the previously reported mosquito type, which was active during dusk and dawn.

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WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito, and poses greater health risks to people over 60 and those with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and people who have received organ transplants.

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Residents are strongly urged to take steps to protect themselves, their loved ones and pets, from mosquito bites:

  • Use (and re-apply as needed) EPA-approved insect repellents when outdoors
  • Wear clothing to reduce skin exposure
  • Install or repair window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside

Residents are also advised to take measures to reduce the number of mosquitos in their yard by dumping all standing water weekly to prevent them from breeding, as well as treating larger pools of water with larvicide.