Bird Tests Positive for West Nile Virus
The Board of Health has been notified that a crow that died on July 25th 2008 in Sudbury has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). Since 2001, birds in Sudbury have tested positive for WNV, however, there have been no human cases in town. There have been 17 reported human cases of WNV within the East Middlesex Mosquito Control District (EMMCD) however, all cases have occurred in urban areas east of Route 128.
Rainfall events have been interrupting mosquito spraying by the EMMCD. The last spraying in town was conducted on July 22nd, and will be continued the week of August 4th. A large mosquito population next week is expected to be a mosquito species that is not likely to transmit WNV.
Although there is low risk of WNV infection following a mosquito bite in Sudbury, residents can have an important role in protecting themselves and their loved ones from a potential illness caused by mosquitoes. The following recommendations have been issued by the Mass. Department of Public Health. It is noted that emptying water holding containers is very important as they can produce mosquito species that could transmit WNV in Sudbury.
Avoid Mosquito Bites
– 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. Otherwise, take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing.
– Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. 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.
– Apply Insect Repellent when you go outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535 according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.
Mosquito-Proof Your Home
– Drain Standing Water. 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.
Report Dead Birds
– Dead crows or blue jays may be a sign that WNV is circulating among the birds and mosquitoes in an area. Call 1-866-MASS WNV to report a dead bird. By reporting dead birds, you can play an important role in monitoring WNV. Since a bird has been tested positive in Sudbury there will not be need to be further testing, however, dead birds still need to be reported for monitoring.
More information is available under the Health Department on the Town Website and DPH website: www.mass.gov/dph/wnv/wnv1.htm. Information about WNV and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is also available by calling the DPH recorded information line at 1-866-MASS-WNV (1-866-627-7968), or the Epidemiology Program at 617-983-6800.