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First human case confirmed by West Nile virus in Massachusetts



The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced the first human case of West Nile virus in the state this year. Health officials said the person was a man in his mid-60s from Middlesex County who was hospitalized because of his illness. According to health authorities, the risk of human infection with West Nile virus in the Commonwealth is generally low. "We have not had much to do with the West Nile virus this year," said Monica Bharel, MD, MPH, Commissioner for Public Health. "Yet, today's news is a powerful reminder that we all still need to take steps to protect ourselves and our families from mosquito bites." In 2018, 49 cases of West Nile virus in humans were identified in Massachusetts. The West Nile virus is normally transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. While the West Nile virus can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at greater risk for serious illness. Most people who are infected with the West Nile virus have no symptoms. If present, the symptoms of West Nile virus usually include fever and flu-like illnesses. In rare cases, a more severe illness may occur. "While Massachusetts is facing a very active time for another mosquito-borne disease, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), this is the first case of human WNV," said state epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown. "We continue to strongly recommend personal precautions to reduce the risk of mosquito-borne illness."

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced the first human case of West Nile virus in the state this year.

Health officials said the person was a man in his sixties from Middlesex County who was hospitalized because of his illness.

Health officials said that the risk of human infection with West Nile virus is generally considered low throughout the Commonwealth MPH. "Yet, today's news is a powerful reminder that we all still need to take steps to protect ourselves and our families from mosquito bites."

In 2018, 49 cases of West Nile virus in humans were identified in Massachusetts.

The West Nile virus is normally transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito.

While West Nile virus can infect humans of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at greater risk for serious illnesses.

Most people who are infected with the West Nile virus have no symptoms. If present, the symptoms of West Nile virus usually include fever and flu-like illnesses. In rare cases, it can lead to a more serious illness.

"While Massachusetts is facing a very active time for another mosquito-borne disease, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), this is the first case of human WNV," said state epidemiologist Dr Catherine Brown. "We continue to strongly recommend personal precautions to reduce your risk of all mosquito-borne diseases."


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