Health departments in Massachusetts and Riverside County have sounded a public alert after they found confirmed cases of West Nile virus in their respective states.
While the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health has reported confirmed positive cases of the disease in Temecula, Hemet and Murrieta, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health got its first human case this year.
The Massachusetts health department announced on Friday afternoon that those who are in his 60s, were diagnosed with West Nile.
However, Riverside County received confirmed reports of the Vector-borne Disease Section at UC Davis. The health officials had taken the samples on August 11 and 12 from several locations including the northwest corner of Temecula, western Hemet and Monroe Basin
A man from Middlesex County was also tested positive for West Nile virus. This is the first human case discovery in Massachusetts this year.
While in the Riverside County, as many as 81 mosquito samples were found positive for the virus during the summers in 2013.
“We’re in our peak season for possible West Nile virus human infection,” We need to continue to take steps to protect ourselves against mosquito bites by using insect repellant, covering up, and reducing outdoor activities at dusk and after nightfall when mosquitoes are at their most active,” said DPH state public health veterinarian Dr. Catherine Brown while making the announcement on Friday.+
Meanwhile, the government’s vector-control staff has intensified mosquito surveillance, while making ample efforts to control adult and larval mosquitos in the sensitive areas. The residents are also being boosted to participate actively in fighting the threat of West Nile virus.
The virus is transmitted through an infected mosquito bite to humans and some animals.
Some of the symptoms of the disease include:
- Most infected individuals don’t show or experience any illness.
- Mild symptoms like headaches, body aches and fever may appear.
- Elderly, young children and individuals with lowered immunity are at a greater risk of developing more severe symptom.
Preventive measures should be taken:
- Protection against mosquito bites by using insect repellent.
- Dawn and dusk are peak biting times. So be aware of peak mosquito hours.
- Reschedule your outdoor work timings and re-plan for those hours.
- Use proper clothing as they can help reduce mosquito bites.
- Make your home mosquito-proof by clearing drain standing water where mosquitos lay their eggs.