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West Nile Virus found in Fenway mosquitoes

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  August 23, 2013 01:41 PM

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A mosquito pool in the Fenway tested positive for West Nile Virus this week, the Boston Public Health Commission announced Thursday.

This is the first time a mosquito pool in the Fenway neighborhood has tested positive for the virus this season, the commission said in a statement announcing the results.

The tests performed this week also found additional mosquito pools with West Nile Virus in West Roxbury and Jamaica Plain. Mosquito pools in Hyde Park and Roslindale tested positive for the virus earlier in the summer.

The virus, which can be passed to humans through mosquito bites, can cause fever, and in severe cases, meningitis or encephalitis.

There have ben no recorded human cases of mosquito-borne illnesses in Boston this year, according to the city’s health commission, but the commission is encouraging people to take steps to reduce the risk of mosquito bites and prevent mosquitoes from breeding.

The commission is encouraging people to use insect repellant when outdoors, especially from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are more likely to be biting, and wear clothing that includes long sleeves and pants when possible.

People should also make sure that their window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquitoes from getting into the house and turn over or cover items that collect water such to prevent breeding, the commission said.

The City of Boston has partnered with the Suffolk County Mosquito Control Project to place larvicide in catch basins and wetlands around the city, a process designed to reduce the mosquito population.

Targeted, truck-mounted aerosol spraying has also been performed to help control the mosquito population. Spraying was conducted in Hyde Park and in East Boston earlier this summer.

E-mail Kaiser at Johanna.yourtown@gmail.com. For more news about your city, town, neighborhood, or campus, visit boston.com’s Your Town homepage.

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