The Department of Public Health has announced that a man in his 60's from the Metrowest area of the state has contracted the first case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a sometimes fatal disease carried by infected mosquitoes.
Meanwhile in Boston 13 pools or batches of mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus have been found this summer. So far, no infected mosquitoes have been found in the Back Bay, according to the Boston Public Health Commission's website.
"By this time last year we had identified 37 pools of infected mosquitoes in Boston which may be due to the amount of rainfall and the timing of the rain," said Dr. Al DeMaria, the state's top disease tracker.
The last human case of WNV in a Boston resident was reported back in 2010, according to DPH. Fortunately, most people recover from WNV and never know they had the disease. Symptoms include headaches, body aches and other flu-like symptoms. Only about one percent of people infected with the virus will need to be hospitalized, according to Dr. DeMaria.
While it's impossible to avoid mosquitoes altogether, there are a number of ways to avoid mosquito bites including:
- Use repellant. When you are outdoors use a bug spray with DEET or an EPA-registered active ingredient. Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Consider wearing long pants and long sleeves if you spend time outdoors during dusk and dawn.
- Check your home and yard. Make sure you have good screens on doors and windows to keep mosquitoes out.
- Get rid of breeding grounds. Mosquitoes like to breed in standing pools of water. Empty flower pots, bird baths, wading pools and pet dishes.
Next week aerial spraying to kill mosquitoes will begin in southeastern Massachusetts because of record number of infected mosquitoes being found in the area.
For more information about how to prevent mosquito bites, please visit www.mass.gov/dph.