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Press Release Public health officials announce 10 new human cases of West Nile virus in Massachusetts

Cautions that mosquitos are still biting in autumn weather
For immediate release:
9/21/2018
  • Department of Public Health

Media Contact for Public health officials announce 10 new human cases of West Nile virus in Massachusetts

Ann Scales, Media Relations Director

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced 10 additional human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) in the state this year, bringing to 24 the total number of human cases acquired in Massachusetts. These additional cases include:

Age

Sex

County

Hospitalization

71-80

Female

Middlesex

Was hospitalized

61-70

Male

Suffolk

Hospitalized

61-70

Female

Norfolk

Hospitalized

61-70

Male

Middlesex

Never hospitalized

71-80

Female

Middlesex

Was hospitalized

21-30

Female

Middlesex

Never hospitalized

71-80

Male

Essex

Was hospitalized

71-80

Female

Middlesex

Hospitalized

81-90

Male

Suffolk

Was hospitalized

41-50

Female

Middlesex

Was hospitalized

"We’ve seen four times more West Nile virus human cases this year in the Commonwealth than last year," said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH.  "It is important that we continue to remember that even with the start of fall and its cooler temperatures, mosquito season is not yet over."

"People’s minds are not always on mosquito-borne disease risk at this time of the year," said DPH State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown. "However it is not unusual to see people get infected in October – and in fact the latest WNV case we have ever had got sick on November 5."

WNV is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe disease. Most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. When present, WNV symptoms tend to include fever and flu-like illness. In rare cases, more severe illness can occur.

People have an important role to play in protecting themselves and their loved ones from illnesses caused by mosquitoes. To learn more, or to see all WNV and EEE positive results, visit the Arbovirus Surveillance Information web page at www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito or call the DPH Epidemiology Program at (617) 983-6800.

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Media Contact for Public health officials announce 10 new human cases of West Nile virus in Massachusetts

Department of Public Health 

DPH promotes the health and well-being of all residents by ensuring access to high-quality public health and healthcare services, and by focusing on prevention, wellness and health equity in all people.

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