Public Health Officials Announce 10 New Human Cases of West Nile Virus in MA

http://www.medfordma.org/2018/09/25/public-health-officials-announce-10-new-human-cases-of-west-nile-virus-in-ma/

Cautions that mosquitoes are still biting in autumn weather

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced 10 new 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:

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.”

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.

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