Massachusetts reports 7th human case of West Nile virus

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In this Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016 photo, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes sit in a petri dish at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. The mosquito is a vector for the proliferation of the Zika virus spreading throughout Latin America. New figures from Brazil’s Health Ministry show that the Zika virus outbreak has not caused […]

BOSTON, Massachusetts (WPRI) — Health officials in Massachusetts reported the state’s 7th human case of West Nile virus Thursday.

The woman in her 30s was exposed to the virus in Bristol County, an area that has been deemed to have a moderate risk of transmission, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

“This is our first West Nile virus case this year in someone under the age of 50,” acting Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke said. “This is a reminder that although people over the age of 50 are at greater risk from West Nile virus, all ages can be affected.”

This is the first human case to be identified in Bristol County so far this year. The others were reported in Middlesex and Essex counties.

In 2020, there were five human cases of West Nile virus identified in Massachusetts. So far, only one case of West Nile virus has been reported in Rhode Island.

Another mosquito-borne disease, Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), has not yet been detected in Rhode Island, Massachusetts or Connecticut.

Aside from avoiding mosquito bites, officials urge residents to mosquito-proof their homes. Information about current mosquito activity can be found online or by calling the DPH’s Epidemiology Program at (617) 983-6800.

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