The Boston Public HealthCommission (BPHC) last Thursday announced that a mosquito pool in Charlestown has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV).
Earlier this summer, mosquito pools in West Roxbury, Hyde Park, Roslindale and Mattapan tested positive for WNV. A Boston male resident in his 40s was recently confirmed as a WNV case and has recovered. The resident likely acquired the infection in another area of Massachusetts.
WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus, but it poses very low risk to most people. The risk can be further reduced by using insect repellant when outdoors, especially from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active and, when possible, wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants. Residents should also mosquito-proof their homes by making sure that their window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside.
To help prevent mosquitoes from breeding, BPHC advises residents to limit places around the home where standing water can collect. People should turn over unused flower pots, buckets, wheelbarrows and garbage cans; remove leaves and other debris that can clog gutters and trap water; dispose of or cover old tires; and cover swimming pools when not in use.
The City of Boston, in partnership with the Suffolk County Mosquito Control Project, has placed larvicide in catch basins and wetlands, a process designed to reduce the mosquito population. Targeted, truck-mounted aerosol spraying is also performed to help control the mosquito population in certain areas of Boston.
If residents have any questions related to the spraying or any questions on mosquitoes, they may call the Suffolk County Mosquito Control Project at 781-899-5730. For more information on sprayings, please visit bphc.org/mosquitocontrol.
For more information on mosquito-borne illness, call the BostonPublic Health Commission at 617-534-5611 or visitwww.bphc.org/mbi.