West nile virus found in mosquitoes
City of Northampton Public Health Notice
Town of Southampton Public Health Notice
West Nile Virus (WNV) Confirmed in Mosquitoes Collected from Northampton and Southampton
August 1, 2013
Merridith O’Leary, R.S., Director of Public Health, City of Northampton
Adam Kinney, Public Health Agent, Town of Southampton
(413) 529-1003 [email protected]
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) announced today that West Nile Virus (WNV) has been
detected in mosquitoes collected from Northampton, Massachusetts and Southampton, Massachusetts
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. By taking a few, common-sense precautions, people can help to protect themselves and their loved ones
: 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
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.
The Northampton Health Department and the Southampton Health Department will continue to monitor the situation, work closely with MDPH and other agencies and continue to update and educate the public.
Information about Arbovirus disease, surveillance, and reports of current and historical WNV and EEE virus activity in Massachusetts can be found on the MDPH website ator by calling (617) 983-6800.
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