BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) – The first case of West Nile virus in Massachusetts this year has been found in a male resident of Plymouth County.
The man is in his 70s and was diagnosed with West Nile virus in late August. He remains hospitalized, but is recovering, the Mass. Dept. of Public Health announced Monday.
The DPH is conducting an investigation to determine where the man was exposed to infected mosquitoes. The department will release an updated assessment of WNV risk areas depending on its findings.
DPH State Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Catherine Brown wants to remind residents the season for possible human infection with West Nile virus is at its peak.
"Residents need to continue to take steps to protect themselves against mosquito bites: use insect repellant, cover up, and avoid outdoor activities at dusk and after nightfall when mosquitoes are at their most active," Dr. Brown said.
In 2012, thirty-three cases of WNV were detected in Massachusetts residents. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe disease.
WNV is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. When present, WNV symptoms tend to include fever and flu-like illness. In rare cases, more severe illness can occur.
For more information on WNV and EEE, visit www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito or call 617-983-6800.