West Nile Virus has been found in mosquitoes collected in Concord, according to public health officials.
The detection of WNV here, along with multiple mosquitoes with WNV collected in the area—plus mosquito habits and patterns of risk—Concord, along with Bedford, Burlington, Lexington, Lincoln, Stoneham, Wellesley, Weston, Winchester and Woburn have been elevated from “Low” risk levels to “Moderate,” according to the announcement.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health made the announcement of the Concord detection today, Aug. 29. It does not appear as though any humans have tested positive for WNV in Concord or the immediate area.
Concord officials are urging residents to protect themselves and their loved ones from WNV by taking precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
A few tips from the announcement:
- 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. If you are outdoors at any time and notice mosquitoes around you, take steps to avoid being bitten by moving indoors, covering up and/or wearing repellant.
- Students playing after-school sports into late afternoon or early evening hours should carry mosquito repellent and use it as necessary.
- Clothing Can Help~reduce mosquito bites. As weather permits, wear long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
- Apply Insect Repellent~when you go outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin(KBR 3023), IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] 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% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age. Permethrin products are intended for use on items such as clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear and should not be applied to skin.~
Mosquito-Proof Your Home
- Drain Standing Water~– Many mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or getting rid of items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently.
- Install or Repair Screens~- Some mosquitoes like to come indoors. Keep them outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.
The Concord Health Division will continue to work closely with the MDPH and Eastern Middlesex Mosquito Control Program to monitor this situation. Information about WNV and reports of current and historical WNV virus activity in Massachusetts can be found on the MDPH website at http://www.mass.gov/dph/wnv.