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State health officials announce 9th human case of West Nile virus in Massachusetts

Christian Fernsby |
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) announced the ninth human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in the state this year.

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The individual is a male who was exposed to WNV in Middlesex County.

27 communities in Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, and Suffolk counties are at high risk and 71 communities are at moderate risk for WNV. There are no additional risk level changes associated with this new case.

“While the risk from WNV is declining at this time of year, some risk will continue until there has been a hard frost,” said Acting Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke. “People should continue to take steps to prevent mosquito bites anytime they are outdoors.”

In 2020, there were 11 human cases of WNV infection identified in Massachusetts. WNV is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe disease. 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.


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