West Nile Virus Confirmed in Lunenburg

West Nile Virus Confirmed in Mosquitoes from Lunenburg

DATE: September 12, 2018 CONTACT: Jim Garreffi
TOWN: Lunenburg TELEPHONE: 978 772 3335 x305

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) announced today that West Nile virus (WNV) has been detected in mosquitoes collected from Lunenburg, Massachusetts.

Pesticide spraying of certain areas of the Shirley Lake and some limited surrounding areas will take place this coming Thursday evening, September 13th.

Spraying will begin at dusk and residents in the area being sprayed should close their windows and keep them shut for at least 30 minutes after the spray truck has visited.

Streets to be sprayed are:

White Tail Crossing
Shaker Court
Flathill Road west of Sunset Drive
Pearl Street
May Street
Stonefence
Spring Street
Houghtons Mill
Reservoir to Autumn Road

A map of the streets in PDF format is attached.

WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquitoes that carry this virus are common throughout the state, and are found in urban as well as more rural areas. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection.

By taking a few, common-sense precautions, people can help to protect themselves and their loved ones:

Avoid Mosquito Bites
Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours - The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning. If you are outdoors at any time and notice mosquitoes around you, take steps to avoid being bitten by moving indoors, covering up and/or wearing repellant.
• Clothing Can Help reduce mosquito bites. Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
• Apply Insect Repellent when you go outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age. Permethrin products are intended for use on items such as clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear and should not be applied to skin.

Mosquito-Proof Your Home
• Drain Standing Water – Many mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or getting rid of items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently.
• Install or Repair Screens - Some mosquitoes like to come indoors. Keep them outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

While Lunenburg Board of Health will continues to work closely with the MDPH and other agencies, locally we are working with the Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project to provide public education and limited spraying in the area where the infected mosquito was found.

Information about WNV and reports of current and historical WNV virus activity in Massachusetts can be found on the MDPH website at: www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito.

Board, Commission, Committee: