Human case of West Nile Virus reported in MA

By Jennifer Petracca

news@abc6.com

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced that the first human case of West Nile Virus has been reported in the state this year.

The patient, a man in his 60’s and resident of Middlesex County, is being treated and recovering in the hospital.

The Department of Health is conducting an investigation to find out where the man was most likely exposed to the infected mosquitoes.

DPH State Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Catherine Brown says, “We need to continue to take steps to protect ourselves against mosquito bites by using insect repellant, covering up, and reducing outdoor activities at dusk and after nightfall when mosquitoes are at their most active.”

In 2013, eight cases of West Nile Virus were detected in Massachusetts residents.

People over the age of 50 are at a higher risk for severe disease, but people of all ages can be infected.

Most people infected with the virus will have no symptoms, but if present, they tend to include fever and flu-like symptoms.

More information, including all WNV and EEE positive results from 2013, can be found on the Arbovirus Surveillance Information web page at www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito or by calling the DPH Epidemiology Program at 617-983-6800.

© WLNE-TV 2014