For the first time in 2021, West Nile virus was detected in a mosquito in Boston, health officials said Friday.
The virus-carrying mosquito was captured in Jamaica Plain on Wednesday and confirmed to have West Nile at the state's public health lab Friday, the Boston Public Health Commission said. The announcement comes just over two weeks since the year's first mosquito to test positive for the virus in Massachusetts.
No human in Boston has yet tested positive for West Nile virus, which can cause flu-like symptoms, or another mosquito-borne illness, eastern equine encephalitis, this year, officials said.
West Nile is typically detected in mosquitoes by this time of year, Dr. Sarimer Sanchez, director of the commission's Infectious Disease Bureau, said in a statement, but the news that it's been detected is nevertheless a good reminder for people planning to spend time outside.
"When you or your family are outside, it is important that you take steps to prevent mosquito bites. That includes using an approved mosquito repellent, draining standing water from your yard and repairing window screens to keep mosquitos out of your home," she said.
The last time people tested positive for West Nile in Boston was 2018, when seven people had it. Mosquitoes have been found carrying the virus in the city since 2000, according to the commission.