The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) and The Boston Public Health Commission announced today that four mosquito pools in East Boston and some mosquitoes in Arlington have tested positive for the West Nile Virus (WNV).
So far this season, public health officials have raised the alert level to “moderate’’ in Boston after finding West Nile-positive mosquito pools in Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, and Roslindale this season. The alert level has remained at moderate for the past three weeks.
The first mosquitoes with West Nile were found July 29 in Jamaica Plain. Mosquitoes with the West Nile virus have appeared in Boston every since 2000. So far, there have been no human cases of West Nile. Last year, there were six.
In an effort to reduce the mosquito population, the City of Boston and the Suffolk County Mosquito Control Project are conducting targeted sprays in the city and distributing larvicide to kill the mosquito larvae that may be in pools of water and wetlands.
Health officials recommend taking these steps to avoid mosquito bites:
1. Use mosquito repellant with DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, Picaridin, or IR535
2. Wear protective clothing such as long sleeves, tall socks, and long pants.
3. Limit your time outdoors during peak biting hours.
4. Seal up your house and double-check mosquito screens.
5. Remove and drain areas of standing water around your home.