West Nile Virus found in Mosquitoes in Worcester County

Over the past few weeks West Nile Virus (WNV) has been detected in mosquitoes that have been collected from several towns in Worcester County.  No positive WNV mosquitoes have been found in Westborough to date.  A list of towns with positive WNV samples can be found here.

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.

Residents are urged to take appropriate personal protection activities to reduce mosquito bites.  Residents can protect themselves by taking a few precautions:

  • 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.
  • Cover up when possible -  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.
  • Use a repellent with an EPA-approved active ingredient.
  • 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.

The Board of Health will continue to work with the Department of Public Health to monitor West Nile Virus activity.  Residents that wish to have their property sprayed should contact the Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project at 508-393-3055.