The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) confirmed Tuesday that West Nile virus (WNV) has been detected in mosquitoes collected from Quincy. There was one WNV-positive Culex pipiens/restuans complex mosquito sample (pool) identified from samples collected on Sept. 11.
To date, for 2019, the state has reported 72+ WNV-positive mosquito pools from twelve counties, including at least four from Norfolk County.
While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection. WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus. The City of Quincy Health Department and the MDPH recommend that the public continue to take action to avoid mosquito bites and reduce mosquito populations around their home and neighborhoods.
- Limit your time outdoors during peak periods of mosquito activity (dusk and dawn) or, if you must remain outdoors, wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants.
- Use a mosquito repellent that contains DEET or Picaridin. Oil of lemon eucalyptus may also be considered. Products with permethrin should only be used on clothing. Always follow the directions on the label. Repellents should not be used on children younger than two months of age. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.
- Take special care to cover up the arms and legs of children playing outdoors. When you bring a baby outdoors, cover the baby’s carriage or playpen with mosquito netting.
- Fix any holes in your screens and make sure they are tightly attached to all your doors and windows.
- Remove any standing water around your home that is available for mosquito breeding. Mosquitoes will begin to breed in any puddle or standing water that lasts for more than four days. Make sure water does not collect and stagnate in ceramic pots, trash cans, recycling containers, old tires, wading pools, birds baths, etc. Remove leaves and debris that may prevent drainage of roof gutters.
Norfolk County mosquito control will be suspending truck spraying for the control of adult mosquitoes after this week, due to cooler temperatures and reduced numbers of mosquitoes found in county traps. They will consider additional spraying if arbovirus surveillance and weather conditions warrant its application.
Information about WNV and reports of WNV activity in Massachusetts during 2019 can be found on the MDPH website at https://www.mass.gov/mosquito-borne-diseases . The Quincy Health Department will continue to work closely with the MDPH Arbovirus Surveillance Program and the Norfolk County Mosquito Control Project on mosquito control and surveillance efforts.