Brookline case of West Nile Virus is third human case in the state this year

Health officials have confirmed that the third case in the state this year of a human contracting the West Nile Virus was in Brookline.

The 61-year-old woman, whose name has not been released, has recovered and was released from the hospital today, said Alan Balsam, director of Brookline’s Public Health and Human Services Department.

It’s the third human case of the mosquito-borne virus this year and the town has recently been urging residents to take precautions against the mosquito bites after a Newton resident was diagnosed with the virus on Sept. 9.

Health officials in Brookline had also issued an alert in July after the virus was found in mosquitoes in the town. Balsam said the virus has been found in North Brookline, South Brookline and along the Muddy River, so health officials believe it is present in mosquitoes throughout the town.

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The mosquito-borne virus can cause encephalitis, or swelling of the brain, and residents are at the highest risk of getting the disease in late July through the fall.

Balsam said as temperatures drop, mosquito activity will drop, but the risk will not be gone until the first freeze of the season.

Brookline has larvicided the entire town, Balsam said, but he’s urging residents to wear mosquito repellant and clean up areas around their home where there are pools of standing water.

Balsam said the human case of West Nile Virus is the first in the town in five or six years.

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