Five more mosquito pools in Boston have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV), the Boston Public Health Commission reported today. Four of the positive pools were in West Roxbury and the fifth was in North Dorchester, the same neighborhood where, last week, the first infected mosquitoes in Boston were found. There have been no confirmed human cases of WNV in Boston.
Since June, larvicide has been placed into city catch basins designed to reduce the number of mosquitoes in the city. Spraying has been done for mosquito nuisance control in parts of some neighborhoods, but there are no plans to expand spraying throughout the city, said Julia Gunn, director of the Communicable Disease Control division at the Public Health Commission.
While WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus, WNV poses very low risk to humans. Even so, that low risk can be reduced if people take a few simple steps to protect themselves and their families.
Those steps include:
· Use insect repellant when outdoors, especially from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are more likely to be biting and, when possible, wear clothing with long sleeves and pants.
· Mosquito-proof your home by making sure that window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquitoes from getting into your house.
· Prevent mosquitoes from breeding by 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 on WNV, call the Boston Public Health Commission at 617-534-5611or visit www.bphc.org.