Massachusetts health officials announce second human case of West Nile virus – New Bedford Guide

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Residents are advised to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced the second human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in the state this year. The individual is a man in his 60s who was exposed to the virus in Suffolk County in an area already known to be at moderate risk. The risk of human WNV infection is moderate to high in the Greater Boston area.

As a result of this new finding, the risk level for Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville is increased from moderate to high.

In 2021, 11 human cases of WNV infection were identified in Massachusetts. WNV is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over 50 are at higher risk for serious illness. Most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. When present, symptoms of WNV tend to include fever and flu-like illnesses. In rare cases, a more serious illness may occur. No human or animal cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) have been detected so far this year in Massachusetts.

People have an important role to play in protecting themselves and their loved ones from diseases caused by mosquitoes.

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