(Courtesy franklinmatters.com) - The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has elevated the risk level for West Nile Virus from low to moderate for the entire State of Massachusetts. So far this year there have been no confirmed human cases of either West Nile Virus or Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Massachusetts.
It is prudent however for all individuals in Massachusetts to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
Apply Insect Repellent When Outdoors: Use a repellent with DEET, Permethrin, picardin or oil of lemon eucalyptus according to the instructions on the product labels. Remember not to use products with DEET on infants under two months of age. DEET products in concentrations above 30% should not be used on older children. Oil of eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.
Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours: Mosquitoes are most active between the hours from dusk to dawn. Limit your exposure out of doors during this peak biting time if possible. If you must be outside, wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
Drain Standing Water on Your Property: Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing or stagnant water. Drain birdbaths, flower pots, buckets and children's wading pools frequently.
Additional public health advisories/alerts regarding WNV and/or EEE will be provided by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Franklin Health Department as the situation warrants. More information on mosquito-borne viruses can be found at the MADPH Arbovirus Surveillance Information web page at www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito