BOSTON -- A red-tailed hawk found in Jamaica Plain tested positive for West Nile Virus, the
first time this summer the mosquito-borne illness has been detected in either a bird or mosquito in
Boston, the Boston Public Health Commission said today. There have been no confirmed human
The city has already started larvicide placement operations in catch basins designed to reduce large
mosquito populations, said Dr. Anita Barry, director of the Communicable Disease Control Division at
the Commission. She said WNV poses very low risk to humans, but even that low risk can be reduced
if people take a few simple steps to protect themselves and their families.
Those steps include using insect repellant when outdoors, especially from dusk to dawn when
mosquitoes are more likely to be biting and, when possible, wearing clothing with long sleeves and
pants, she said. “People should also make sure that their window and door screens are in good repair
so they aren’t providing a home for mosquitoes to breed,’’ Dr. Barry said.
To prevent mosquitoes from breeding, she advises turning over unused flower pots, buckets,
wheelbarrows, and garbage cans; removing leaves and other debris that can clog gutters and trap
water; disposing of or covering old tires; and covering swimming pools and kiddie pools when not in use.
For more information, call the Boston Public Health Commission at 617-534-5611, or visit