UPDATED: West Nile Virus Found in Dracut
Andover Health Director Thomas Carbone said he doesn't see an immediate threat for Andover residents.
The Department of Public Heath today said that there has been a case of West Nile Virus confirmed in a collection of mosquitoes in southeast Dracut and that residents should take precautions.
Andover town officials aren't as concerned about the discovery but mosquito control official Timothy Deschamps told Dracut residents to take precautions.
“This is confirmation that the WNV virus is present in town, and residents must do everything possible to avoid mosquito bites” said Central Mass. Mosquito Control Project Executive Director, Timothy Deschamps in a press release. “You can help reduce mosquito populations around your home and neighborhood by emptying any containers that collects water. Please use repellents according to label directions if you are outside in areas with mosquitoes”.
The virus was found in an area off Loon Hill Road in Dracut.
Andover Health Director Thomas Carbone said that he wouldn't be too worried about the discovery in Dracut.
"It's not necessarily a concern. Our only shared border is across the river," said Carbone. "What this is telling us is that this is here throughout the region."
Carbone said that if they find a threat of West Nile or EEE they will certainly take measures to combat the virus and notify the community.
"If we find that there’s a threat we’ll consider doing more spraying," said Carbone. "The traps we have set [in Andover] haven’t produced any positives so that a good sign for us."
Here are some tips from the State Department of Mental Health.
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. Mosquitoes can be active during daylight hours when the temperatures are cool.
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, Ndiethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), or oil of lemon eucalyptus [pmethane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] 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
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.
More information is available at: www.mass.gov/dph/wnv. Information about WNV and EEE is also available by calling the DPH recorded information line at 1-866-MASS-WNV (1-866-627-7968), or the DPH Epidemiology Program at 617-983-6800.
For more information please call CMMCP at (508) 393-3055 or log on to our website at www.cmmcp.org.