This just in from the Wellesley Health Department:
On Thursday, August 20, 2015, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) announced that a mosquito in Wellesley had tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). WNV infected mosquitoes have been found in neighboring communities and throughout Greater Boston. Thus the risk of WNV in this area has been catagorized as moderate. Residents are urged to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites, which can carry serious diseases including West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). These diseases called arboviruses are carried by infected mosquitoes and can cause illness and in rare cases, death in people who have been bitten.West Nile Virus is most commonly spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people who are infected with WNV will have no symptoms. A smaller number of people who become infected will have symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting and sometimes swollen lymph glands. They may also develop a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. A very small number of people may develop severe illness, including encephalitis or meningitis.
To Avoid Mosquito Bites:
Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning.
Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET, permethrin, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of
age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.
Mosquito-Proof Your Home:
Drain Standing Water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently. Remove unused tires. Call the health department at 781-235-0135 if you see standing water problems.
Install or Repair Screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.
What is Wellesley doing to address mosquito borne illness?
Collaborating with MA Dept of Public Health, neighboring and regional health departments to monitor, test and address WNV and EEE in our region.
Working with the Wellesley Department of Public Works on treatment of catch basins throughout the Town – Storm drains are targeted as a major breeding ground for the mosquito species Culex Pipiens, which is known to carry WNV. Storm drains throughout the Town are treated with a larvacide (a growth inhibitor) once or twice during the breeding season.
Continuing our partnership with East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project (EMMCP) EMMCP is responsible for seasonal monitoring of mosquito populations, ditch maintenance, as well as larvaciding of wetlands and breeding areas throughout Town.
Dead birds are no longer collected for testing. If you discover a dead bird on your property, do not touch it with your bare hands. Carefully dispose of it by double bagging it using gloved hands or a shovel. You may place it in your regular trash. You do not need to notify the local or state Health Department, Police or Animal Control Officer.
More information is available on Wellesley Health Department’s website (links to page on mosquitoes and ticks)