AUBURN, Mass. - The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is reporting West Nile Virus has been detected in mosquitoes collected from the Heard Street area of Auburn.
Last week, West Nile Virus was found in the Pakachoag Hill neighborhood.
According to the town of Auburn's health department, it’s important to note the disease only has been identified in mosquitoes; no human cases have been identified in Auburn.
The Auburn Board of Health continues to work closely with the state health department and Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project to offer ongoing mosquito prevention and response.
As part of this collaboration, the town of Auburn will be conducting ultra-low volume spraying in the Heard Street area on Tuesday night, using Anvil 10+10, an insecticide that contains synthetic pyrethroids, which emulate naturally occurring insecticides, known as pyrethrins, found in chrysanthemum flowers. This presents a minimal risk to humans, pets and non-targeted species.
This substance kills mosquitoes effectively, yet biodegrades rapidly in the presence of sunlight and/or microorganisms.
West Nile Virus 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 and more rural areas. While the virus can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection.
According to the town of Auburn, by taking a few, common-sense precautions, people can help protect themselves and their loved ones from mosquito exposure:
- 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, permethrin, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30 percent or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under 3 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.