Health officials: Season’s first West Nile virus-positive mosquito collected in Boston

BOSTON (WHDH) - The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced Thursday that the West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitoes in Massachusetts for the first time this year.

The presence of WNV was confirmed by the Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory in a mosquito sample that was collected July 3 in Boston in Suffolk County, according to DPH.

No human or animal cases of WNV or Eastern Equine Encephalitis have been detected so far this year. There is no elevated risk level or risk-level change associated with this finding.

“The first WNV positive mosquito sample is often identified in Massachusetts sometime during the last week of June or the first week in July,” DPH State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown said in a statement. “Risk for human infection generally builds through the season with peak risk occurring in August.”

WNV is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito.

In 2018, there were 49 human cases of WNV infection acquired in Massachusetts — the greatest number of cases the Commonwealth has ever had in a single year.

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