- Department of Public Health
Media Contact for Public health officials announce four new human cases of West Nile virus in Massachusetts
Ann Scales, Media Relations Director
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced four new cases of West Nile virus in Massachusetts this year. The cases include a man in his 60s from Plymouth County who was hospitalized, a woman in her 40s from Worcester County who is hospitalized, a woman in her 40s from Middlesex County who was not hospitalized, and a man in his 60s from Middlesex County who was hospitalized with his illness. This brings the total of reported West Nile virus cases to 29 this year.
"The potential for people to be exposed to West Nile virus by a mosquito is continuing," said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. "It remains important for people to use mosquito repellent and wear long sleeves to reduce exposed skin because mosquitoes will continue to be quite active, especially on warmer days with high humidity."
In 2017, there were six human cases of WNV infection 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 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.