The Massachusetts Department of Public Health [DPH] announced on Thursday, September 16, the discovery of the seventh human case of West Nile virus [WNV] in Massachusetts in 2021.
The announcement comes two days after DPH announced the fifth and sixth human cases on Tuesday, September 14. DPH announced the first human case of 2021 on September 2. There were five known human cases of WNV reported in Massachusetts.
The seventh human case is a woman in her 30s exposed to the virus in Bristol County.
The Department of Public Health Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences and the Epidemiology Program ranks each community in the state by risk level.
In Worcester Country, DPH rates nine communities as at moderate risk. Blackstone, Hopedale, Milford and Millville were elevated to moderate on Thursday. Grafton, Mendon, Northbridge, Upton, Uxbridge were previously elevated to moderate.
All other communities in Worcester County are rated at low risk level.
WNV is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe disease. Most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. When present, WNV symptoms tend to include fever and flu-like illness. In rare cases, more severe illness can occur.
To learn best practices to prevent mosquito born disease and protect yourself, your family, and your pets, see these tips from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
More information, including all WNV and EEE positive results, can be found at mass.gov/MosquitoesandTicks or by calling the DPH Epidemiology Program at 617-983-6800.