Mosquito Isolated on White

Aedes canadensis are a common pest mosquito and may be possible West Nile Vectors.

ATTLEBORO — There’s another virus on the loose in Attleboro — the mosquito-borne West Nile Virus.

Health agent Alan Perry said the virus was discovered July 31 in a “bird-biting” mosquito in the northeast section of the city.

He described the risk to residents as “moderate.”

WNV is far less dangerous than another mosquito-transmitted virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or even the very deadly coronavirus, which is spread through human-to-human contact and has ravaged the area for the last four months infecting thousands and killing 143 people in The Sun Chronicle area alone.

According to information on the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s website, less than 1 percent of those infected WNV develop severe disease.

Those most likely to develop a severe illness from WNV are over the age of 50 or those with compromised immune systems.

About 80 percent of those infected experience no symptoms at all. The remainder can experience fever, headache, body ache, vomiting and swollen lymph glands.

To date, Attleboro is the only community in Bristol County in which WNV has been found.

In Norfolk County, WNV has been found in Brookline and Needham.

So far, no EEE has been found in Bristol or Norfolk counties.

Only one human case of EEE has been reported statewide. That case has occurred in a boy under the age of 18 in Plymouth County.

It was diagnosed on July 20.

Middleboro and Carver have been designated as “critical risk” areas for EEE.

Prevention tips from DPH for the mosquito borne illnesses WNV and EEE include the following:

• Use insect repellent any time you are outdoors.

• Wear long-sleeved clothing

• Schedule outdoor activities to avoid the hours from dusk to dawn.

• Repair damaged window and door screens.

• Remove standing water from the areas around your home.

George W. Rhodes can be reached at 508-236-0432.

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