Test Finds West Nile Virus In Wakefield

Dept. of Public Health informed town of positive finding in mosquito sample on Thursday.

The Wakefield Health Department announced Thursday afternoon that West Nile Virus has been isolated from mosquitoes in the town. The Mass. Department of Public Health informed the town of the news earlier in the day.

“This news, along with the mosquitoes which tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in Reading and Lynnfield should serve as a warning that mosquitoes pose a health threat between now and the first hard frost,” said a statement from the Health Department.

“ Although the chances of acquiring mosquito borne diseases such as WNV or EEE are remote, residents should be aware that these mosquito-borne viruses could cause fever, meningitis or encephalitis. Early symptoms of these diseases include fever, headache, stiff neck and muscle weakness,” added the announcement.

With that in mind, people are advised to take preventative measures such as wearing repellent and protective clothing, fixing holes in their screen doors, and covering baby carriages and playpens with mosquito netting.

The news comes just one day after Wakefield sprayed for mosquitoes in areas north of Salem Street and north of Prospect Street. That round of spraying was prompted by positive mosquito tests in neighboring Reading and Lynnfield for Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

The Health Department did not indicate when or if any additional spraying would take place in town due to this latest finding.


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