West Nile Virus found in JP

Rebeca Oliveira

A mosquito pool in Jamaica Plain was confirmed positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) on Sept. 2, according to a statement released by the Boston Public Health Commission. A spokeswoman from the commission said it is the commission’s policy to not release the exact location of the infected pool.

Infected mosquitoes have been previously found in North Dorchester, West Roxbury, and Hyde Park. Multiple positive mosquito pools suggest that WNV is likely to be present throughout the city, the release said.

According to the release, there has been one human case of WNV in Boston: a 46-year-old woman whose diagnosis was confirmed Aug. 27. She has since recovered.

Since June, larvicide has been added to city catch basins to reduce the mosquito population, and certain neighborhoods have also been sprayed. There currently are no plans to expand spraying throughout the city, the statement said.

According to the Public Health Commission, WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus. Simple precautions can reduce the risk of being bitten by a mosquito:

  • Use insect repellant when outdoors, especially from dusk to dawn, and when possible, wearing long sleeves and pants.
  • Check screens and doors for holes, in order to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
  • Prevent mosquitoes breeding by not allowing pools of standing water to form: tuning over empty flower pots, buckets, etc, checking that gutters are clear, covering swimming pools when not in use, etc.

According to the Center for Disease Control’s WNV website, about one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness, and up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Most people will not have any symptoms. Symptoms, if present, will manifest between three and 14 days after infected mosquito bites.

If a person develops symptoms of severe WNV illness, such as unusually severe headaches or confusion, they should seek medical attention immediately. Severe WNV illness usually requires hospitalization.
For more information, call 534-5395 or email [email protected] or visit the CDC’s WNV site: www.cdc.gov/westnile.

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