With the peak mosquito season in full effect, Massachusetts health officials are warning people to be more cautious about bites after West Nile virus was detected in several communities.
The State Department of Public Health announced Friday that mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus were found in Concord. Peabody police said mosquitoes carrying the virus were also found in that town.
West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes have been tracked in Massachusetts for the first time this year in the beginning of July, state department report said.
Another report from the East Middlesex and the Suffolk County Mosquito Control Projects said July through September is the riskiest time for contracting the West Nile virus, and August through September is when most cases are noticed.
One thing people in Massachusetts can do to avoid the virus is to avoid mosquito bites.
Always be aware of these preventive actions suggested by the State Department of Public Health:
- Apply insect repellent when in outdoors. Be careful to apply wisely on children, and check the safest ingredients for infants.
- Keep mosquitoes away during their peak hours from dusk to dawn. Wear long sleeves, long pants and socks.
- Make your home mosquito-proof by draining standing water because they lay their eggs in it. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change the water in birdbaths frequently.
- Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.
- Consult with your vets to protect your pets from the virus.
Most people infected with West Nile virus will have no symptoms, officials at the State Department of Public Health said. When present, West Nile virus symptoms tend to include fever and flu-like illness. In rare cases, the more severe illness that includes rash can occur, health officials said.