Friday, August 28, 2009
Update on West Nile Virus, EEE prevalence in Massachusetts
West Nile Virus (WNV) has been detected in mosquitoes in five locations across Middlesex, Worchester, Suffolk and Norfolk counties this summer, according to information released by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) has been detected in mosquitoes in seven locations in Bristol and Essex counties. No human or horse infections have been reported in the state this year.
While rare compared to WNV, EEE is considered a serious neuropathogenic virus. There were 13 human cases of EEE, including six fatalities between 2004 and 2006. In comparison, 60 people in the state were reported with WNV between 2000 and 2008, with a 10% fatality rate.
To avoid exposure, reduce the incidence of mosquito bites by the following means:
• Be aware that peak mosquito activity occurs from dusk to dawn.
• Wear long sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors, temperature permitting.
• Apply insect repellent when outdoors. Repellents include DEET, permethrin, picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age or in concentrations above 30% in older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under age three.
• Drain standing water and install or repair screens.
© 2009 The