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West Nile Virus found in Waltham

Posted by Megan McKee  August 6, 2010 02:03 PM

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Two mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus were collected in Waltham this week, the state Department of Public Heatlh announced yesterday.

The superintendent of the East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project said his group found the mosquitoes in its Kendall Park Road collection trap. He said spraying in the neighborhood will be scheduled for early next week.

“These West Nile Virus isolations represent the fourth and fifth isolations from our district,” said David Henley of the East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project in an email. “Last Friday there were two West Nile Virus isolations from Brookline. In mid July, there was one isolation from Arlington.”

The group put out traps in two locations on Monday—Kendall Park Road and Seminole Avenue. Only mosquitoes collected from the Kendall Park Road site were sent to the Department of Public Health since too few mosquitoes were collected from Seminole Avenue, said Henley.

West Nile Virus causes no symptoms in most people but can cause severe neurological symptom in about 1 in 150 people, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control. About 20 percent of infected people get flu-like symptoms that can last a few days up to several weeks. And 80 percent have no symptoms.

Since the virus is spread via mosquitoes, preventing bites and eliminating mosquito breeding grounds are the best preventative measures. The CDC says that insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, lemon eucalyptus oil, or IR3535 offer long-term protection from bites.

Also, removing standing water and repairing window and door screens are essential.

Megan McKee can be reached at megan.mckee@gmail.com.

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