The risk level for the West Nile virus was raised for the entire state for the second time in Massachusetts history.
The Ministry of Health has announced that it has raised the level of risk from low to average in every city and city in yesterday and urges the residents to take precautionary measures against mosquito bites.
Of the 351 cities and villages in Massachusetts, 162 are already communities at moderate risk of the West Nile virus. No cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Massachusetts.
"We have come to expect this in Massachusetts because we know that mosquitoes have a number of diseases," said Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes, head of the Infectious Diseases department at Brigham and the Women & # 39; s Hospital. "On the spectrum of things, the West Nile virus is not as worrying as the Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus, which we see from time to time, but fortunately we have not seen it here recently. & # 39;
Monica Bharel, public health commissioner, said she also did not see any malicious mosquitoes for the Eastern equine encephalitis virus, also called triple E.
"What we are seeing now is that we see more West Nile virus activity in mosquitoes across the state," Bharel said. "That led us to raise the level of risk."
This year, in mid-August, they have already found 256 positive mosquito samples that tested positive for West Nile, according to Bharel. They found 290 positive mosquito samples throughout the season in 2017, stretching from mid-June to mid-October.
"We want to ensure that everyone is aware of the best things to prevent mosquito bites as much as possible," Bharel said. "Most human infections occur in the months of August and September."
"That is why we are taking this step today, so that together we can prevent people from becoming ill." DPH stands for Dr. Ep. Catherine Brown added.
A recent surge of high temperatures and humidity along with abundant rain has contributed to the problem, Bharel said.
"The hot, humid weather in Massachusetts combined with frequent heavy rainfall has provided perfect conditions for mosquito species that carry the West Nile virus to breed," Bharel said.
Although West Nile can infect people of all ages, people older than 50 years are at a higher risk for serious diseases. The virus is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most infected people show no symptoms, but one in five does. When present, symptoms include fever and flu-like illness. In rare cases, more serious illness can occur.
"West Nile virus causes various diseases in humans," says Kuritzkes. "They can vary in severity and the most serious symptoms of infection are more common in older people … It is the rare complications that we are most concerned about."