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Eighth Case of West Nile Virus Found in Massachusetts

By Tom Marino | September 24, 2020
Last Updated: February 2, 2021

The Department of Public Health [DPH] announced on Thursday, September 24, the eighth case of West Nile Virus [WNV] discovered this year in Massachusetts.

The infected individual, a man in his 40s, contracted the virus when exposed in Middlesex country.

In 2019, there were five human cases of West Nile Virus in Massachusetts.

WNV is most often transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. WNV can infect people of any age, but people over the age of 50 face a higher risk of severe disease.

Symptoms of WNV include fever and flu-like illness. In rare cases, more severe illness can occur. Most individuals who become infected with WNV do not experience any symptoms.

To protect against mosquito bites, DPH recommends using insect repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)], or IR3535.

Avoiding outdoor activities that occur in the early morning or evening, which are peak mosquito biting times, is also recommended.

Wearing long sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors can also help keep mosquitoes away from skin.

Draining standing water, where mosquitoes lay their eggs, and installing or repairing window and door screens is also recommended.

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