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West Nile found in Wellesley mosquitoes

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  September 3, 2013 01:48 PM

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Wellesley health officials are warning residents to wear bug spray and be mindful of outdoor nighttime activities after Wellesley mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile Virus, town officials announced Friday.

The late Friday findings came after state health officials announced that two people - a Norfolk County man in his 30s and a Plymouth County man in his 70s - had contracted the mosquito-borne illness in August.

Several communities surrounding Wellesley, including Concord, Lexington, Needham, Waltham and Boston, have been raised to a moderate risk level for West Nile, meaning human infection is either likely or has already occurred.

There were 33 West Nile cases in the state last year, and at least one death.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control, one in five people who have contracted West Nile Virus develop a fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash, but can usually be cured. Less than 1 percent of those with the disease will develop a neurological illness; about 10 percent of those cases can be fatal.

Residents can avoid mosquito bites while outdoors by wearing insect repellant and donning long sleeves from dusk to dawn. Since mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water, officials also advise residents to drain any outside their home, including in gutters, drains, or unused flowerpots and wading pools.

Residents can also keep mosquitoes out of their home by making sure all screens in their doors and window are tight-fitting.

For more information, visit the state's health website, or call the state's public health information line at 1-866-MASS-WNV (1-866-627-7968).

Wellesley residents can also visit the town's health department website for more information.

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Follow us on Twitter: @yourwellesley, @jaclynreiss

Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com

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