Mass. health officials announce season’s first West Nile virus-positive mosquito sample

BELMONT, MASS. (WHDH) - The Massachusetts Department of Public Health on Thursday announced the state’s first West Nile virus-positive mosquito sample of the season.

One of two samples collected from Belmont on July 7 tested positive for the virus at the Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory, according to the announcement.

West Nile Virus is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. There were 5 human cases of WNV in 2019. 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.

Officials say no human or animal cases of West Nile or Eastern Equine Encephalitis have been detected in the state this year.

There is no elevated risk level associated with the finding.

In a statement, Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel said, “The first WNV positive mosquito sample has been identified this year in Massachusetts. It is important to remember that WNV can cause very serious illness, especially in individuals over 50 and those who are immune-compromised.”

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