Thursday, 4:30 PM
Arlington woman in serious condition with West Nile virus
By Stephen Smith, Globe Staff
An 83-year-old Arlington woman is in serious condition after contracting West Nile virus from a mosquito, state public health authorities reported today.
The woman, whose identity was not disclosed because of patient confidentiality laws, is the first person in the state to contract the illness this year. Last year, one person died from the virus and five others were infected but survived.
West Nile virus first appeared in Massachusetts in 2000, with the first human cases reported in 2001.
Three people in the state this year have been infected with another, deadlier mosquito-borne disease, Eastern equine encephalitis. A 9-year-old boy in Middleborough died from the viral illness.
To avoid being infected with diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, health authorities recommend limiting activity from dusk to dawn, when the insects are most active, and to wear long shirts and pants and insect repellant if nighttime activity is necessary. Specialists also advise draining pools of water where bugs breed.