BOSTON (CBS) — West Nile Virus has been detected in Boston mosquitoes for the first time in 2021, the city’s Public Health Commission announced Friday.
A mosquito sample collected Wednesday in Jamaica Plain tested positive for the virus.
So far, there have been no human cases of West Nile or EEE in the city. Health officials are not changing the West Nile risk level in the city as a result of the test, but they are advising residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites.
“It is typical to find West Nile Virus in mosquitoes in Boston at this time of year,” said Dr. Sarimer Sanchez, director of the Infectious Disease Bureau at the Boston Public Health Commission, in a statement. “However, it is also that time of year when many of us will be spending time outdoors, enjoying summertime in New England. When you or your family are outside, it is important that you take steps to prevent mosquito bites. That includes using an approved mosquito repellent, draining standing water from your yard and repairing window screens to keep mosquitos out of your home.”
West Nile Virus has been detected in mosquitoes in Boston for the first time this year. The mosquito sample was collected in Jamaica Plain. Take steps to protect yourself from mosquito bites when you're outside. FMI: https://t.co/YFIMWFvcb4
— Boston Public Health (@HealthyBoston) July 16, 2021
There have not been any human West Nile cases in Boston since 2018. People over the age of 50 are most likely to suffer severe symptoms, which can include fever and flu-like illness.
The recent stretch of wet weather has raised concerns about mosquito-borne illnesses in the state.
Experts recommend using insect repellent when outdoors and wearing long-sleeve shirts and pants when possible. Residents are also reminded to remove standing water from around their homes on a regular basis.