By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Massachusetts health officials an additional case of West Nile virus (WNV) in the state this year, the seventh to date.

West Nile virus
Culex quinquefasciatus

The latest case is reported in a woman in her 30s who was exposed to WNV in Bristol County.

“This is our first West Nile virus case this year in someone under the age of 50,” said Acting Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke. “This is a reminder that although people over the age of 50 are at greater risk from West Nile virus, all ages can be affected. Risk from West Nile virus will continue until the first hard frost and people should remember to take steps to prevent mosquito bites anytime they are outdoors.”

In 2020, there were 11 human cases of WNV infection identified in Massachusetts.

WNV is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe disease. Most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. When present, WNV symptoms tend to include fever and flu-like illness. In rare cases, more severe illness can occur.