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Published On: Thu, Sep 12th, 2019

Massachusetts reports 1st human West Nile virus case of 2019 in Middlesex County

By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

For the first time this year, Massachusetts health officials have reported a human West Nile virus (WNV) case in the state.

Image/CDC

The individual is a man in his 60s from Middlesex County who was hospitalized due to his illness.

“We have not seen much West Nile virus activity this year,” said Public Health Commissioner  Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “Still, today’s news is a compelling reminder that we all need to continue to take steps to protect ourselves and our families from mosquito bites.”

In 2018, there were 49 human cases of WNV infection identified in Massachusetts.

“While Massachusetts is seeing a very active season for another mosquito-borne disease, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), this is the first human case of WNV,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown. “We continue to strongly recommend personal precautions to reduce your risk of all mosquito-borne disease.”

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.

 

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