The Boston Public Health Commission announced today that mosquitoes in Roxbury tested positive for the West Nile virus on August 15, the first time this season. This is the second annoucement in less than one week. On August 14 health officials issued warnings about West Nile in East Boston and Arlington. Health officials have also issued warnings for mosquitoes with West Nile in Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, and Roslindale this summer. The virus alert level was bumped to “moderate” on August 7.
The season for West Nile runs from June to November, when it is warm enough outside for mosquitoes to be active. West Nile has occurred in Boston every year since 2000. Boston’s peak season for West Nile is July through September.
Although it is very rare for humans to contract the virus, city health officials encourage residents to take measures to prevent mosquito bites, such as avoiding being outside at dusk or dawn, using bug spray, and wearing long sleeve shirts or pants when outside during peak biting hours. Residents are also encouraged to overturn plant pots or empty pools of water around their homes, where mosquitoes are likely to breed.
Check out this video from the Boston Public Health Commission for tips on preventing mosquito bites.