Jul 28, 2014
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West Nile Mosquito Sample Tests Positive in Swampscott

The town public health director recommends extra vigilance for young athletes and outdoor enthusiasts over the next few weeks.

West Nile Mosquito Sample Tests Positive in Swampscott


A mosquito sample tested positive for West Nile Virus in Swampscott last week.

The sample was collected Sept. 5.

The state Department of Public Health also found two mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus and two infected with EEE in Peabody between September and August, and a mosquito infected with West Nile Virus on Nahant, Aug. 22.

The agency tests regularly throughout the state for West Nile Virus and EEE.

The type of mosquito that carries West Nile Virus is found in open areas and emerge from standing water, Town Health Diretcor Jeff Vaughan told us earlier.

Precautions include dumping standing rainwater that collects in yard buckets, tires, or other containers.

Also, use bug spray with deet and keep your skin covered at dusk and night when outside, Vaughan said.

The director recommends that coaches have bug spray with deet for their players.

Mosquitoes typically stick around until the first frost, the health director said.

Here are notices the Swampscott health director sent to youth league and school sports administrators on Tuesday.   

West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) have been endemic in mosquitoes in Massachusetts for numerous years now.  A mosquito testing positive for WNV in Swampscott last week only strengthens the need to be extra vigilant about protecting our young athletes and outdoor enthusiasts during the next few weeks.  Youth league administrators, coaches at all levels and field maintenance personnel all need to do their part.

West Nile Virus is a disease most commonly spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people infected with West Nile won’t have any symptoms and will recover on their own, but some may develop a fever, headache, nausea, or a rash on the chest, stomach and back. Less than 1% of people infected with WNV will develop severe illness – but people 50 and older are at a higher risk of doing so.

As some of our teams cannot avoid being outside at dusk when mosquitoes are most active, using a bug repellent with DEET, according to the instructions given on the product label, and wearing long pants and shirts when you are outdoors in the evening are our best ways to reduce our chances of getting the disease

Mosquitoes carrying WNV tend to lay their eggs in standing water so it is important for field maintenance personnel and coaches to clear any standing water from around our fields.

For more information about this issue, please visit  www.mass.gov/dph.

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