BOSTON (WPRI) — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed a human case of West Nile virus, the state’s first of the year.
The woman in her 70s is believed to have been exposed in Suffolk County, according to the DPH.
Health officials say most people who contract the virus don’t experience symptoms, but people over 50 are at higher risk of severe disease. Symptoms, when present, include fever and flu-like illness.
The state’s first detection of the disease this year was in a mosquito sample trapped in Easton back in mid-July.
Officials are reminding residents to take precautions against mosquito bites such as using bug spray, wearing long sleeves and pants, and draining standing water.
There were 11 human cases of West Nile virus in Massachusetts last year.