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PRESS RELEASE - For immediate Release – August 16, 2018
The Board of Health has been notified by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health that a mosquito sample recently collected in Canton has tested positive for the West Nile Virus. The collected sample consisted of the mosquitos specie, Culex pipiens, which is a bird-biting mosquito that rarely bites humans. However, due to the presence of the West Nile Virus in the area, simple precautions should still be taken to reduce exposure to human biting mosquitos that may also be infected with the virus.
Such precautions include, but are not limited to covering one’s arms and legs with proper clothing when going outdoors, using mosquito repellant containing DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, or picaridin, fixing window screens to reduce the likelihood of mosquitos entering one’s home, and reducing the number of hours going outside in the early morning or near sundown.
West Nile Virus is responsible for illness characterized by flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle weakness, and sometimes encephalitis or meningitis. Although the illness can have these symptoms, and can even result in death in a small number of those infected, some people infected with the disease may show no symptoms whatsoever.
As of this writing, no humans have been known to be infected with WNV in Massachusetts this year.
If you suspect you may have the West Nile Virus, contact your physician or seek medical assistance immediately.
For more information on West Nile Virus, go online to: https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2016/07/rr/wnv.pdf
John L. Ciccotelli, R.S., C.H.O.
Director of Public Health, Canton Board of Health