The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced
earlier this week that West Nile Virus has been detected in mosquitoes
collected from several communities surrounding Concord.
Though no mosquitoes carrying WNV have been found in Concord so far this year, local public health officials are advising residents to take precautions to protect themselves form mosquito bites.
Meanwhile, Concord’s MDPH Risk Level remains low, according to an Aug. 20 announcement, which notes the town’s Health Division will work with the state DPH and Eastern Middlesex Mosquito Control project to monitor the situation.
WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquitoes that carry this virus are common throughout the state, and are found in urban as well as more rural areas. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection.
In its Aug. 20 announcement, Concord's Public Health Department provided the following tips for protecting against WNV:
Avoid Mosquito Bites
- 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.
- Clothing Can Help~reduce mosquito bites. Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing 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.