On July 26th, the City’s Health & Human Services Department confirmed that the West Nile Virus (WNV) has been detected in Newton mosquitoes. Although there have been no reports of human infection in Massachusetts so far this year, it is important that we take precautions against the disease. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection. Newton residents have contracted the illness in previous years, and some of them have been hospitalized.
“West Nile Virus mosquitoes are something we expect to see every summer and fall in this area… I urge everyone to take steps to prevent disease by using mosquito repellent, avoiding peak mosquito times outside, and emptying standing water around their homes.”
–Deborah Youngblood, Health and Human Services Commissioner
“Most people who get West Nile Virus have a mild flu-like illness or do not experience symptoms at all – but it can cause severe disease, including high fever, headache, stiff neck and even disorientation or coma in some people.”
–Shin-Yi Lao, public health nurse educator