West Nile Virus Found in Western Mass. Mosquito

Health officials say West Nile virus has been found in a mosquito in Massachusetts for the first time this year.

The state Department of Public Health announced Thursday that the infected mosquito was collected July 8 in Sheffield in western Massachusetts.

There have been no human or animal cases of West Nile virus in the state this year. There were six human cases of West Nile virus in the state last year.

West Nile is transmitted to humans and animals by infected mosquitoes. Flu-like symptoms can occur. Less than 1 percent of people infected can develop serious neurological illnesses such as encephalitis or meningitis.

Health officials recommend being aware of peak mosquito times in the evenings and early mornings, wearing long pants and long sleeves outdoors and using insect repellent.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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