West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitoes in Attleboro and Seekonk, state and local public health officials said Tuesday.
The mosquitoes that carry the virus are common throughout the state and are found in rural as well as urban areas, officials say.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States. It is most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito.
There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat the virus in humans, but most infected with it do not feel sick, the CDC says. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms and about 1 in 150 develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness, it says.
People over 50 are at a higher risk for severe infection, according to health officials.
Officials recommend rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during the early evenings or morning.
People should also wear long-sleeve shirts, pants and socks and use mosquito repellent if you have to be outdoors.
Health officials also recommend draining or getting rid of items that collect water around your home and check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerbeds and wading pools and change the water in bird baths frequently.
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water.
Residents should also repair or install screens to prevent mosquitoes from coming inside your home.
To request property around your home be sprayed, call Bristol County Mosquito Control at 508-823-5253.
More information about West Nile virus is available at mass.gov/dph/mosquito .