MA: State Raises West Nile Virus Risk Level


There have been no reported human cases of West Nile virus in MA.

The health department says the increased risk for human disease will continue until the first hard frost. This is more likely to occur in those over 50 years of age and those with medical conditions or weakened immune systems, according to public health officials. Sometimes those cases can lead to death.

The news is alarming to some Gwinnett County residents. Signs of the virus include flu-like symptoms, where the horse seems mildly anorexic and depressed.

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit noted the virus spreads via mosquito bites, but the risk of West Nile infection is low.

The warning comes from the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station which has found West Nile Virus mosquitoes infected in town.

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Last month, OH reported its first human West Nile virus case for the year. "We really can't predict based on the timing of the first case or the severity of the case", she said.

The health department said in a release, the birds were collected and sampled by the Department of Natural Resources. "In the early years when the population had no immunity to the disease, we had many annual cases locally", he said.

He noted that although Louisiana is seeing more cases this year than last, numbers are still down considerably from the worst years, such as 2002 and 2012.

For prevention, Brown suggests people use a mosquito spray, avoid being outside during dusk and dawn, dump out any standing water around homes, and fix holes in any screen windows and doors.