EEE virus found in north Westport mosquito

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mosquito_65147_7Add Westport to the growing list of southeaster Massachusetts towns where tests have revealed the presence of mosquito-borne viruses.

Testing at a north Westport location has fond a positive mosquito result for the eastern equine encephalitis virus, the Westport Board of Health announced Wednsday. The mosquito species found is Culiseta melanoma which feeds almost exclusively on birds.

The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health recommend that people take steps this mosquito season to protect their animals and themselves from West Nile Virus and EEE.

Mosquitoes can begin to multiply in any standing water that remains for more than four days. Removing these sources, such as water that may collect in old cans, tires and birdbaths, can help to reduce the mosquito population.

Farm owners should empty water buckets and troughs regularly, Also, make sure there is proper drainage in the fields and around barns and shelters. Less time spent outdoors when mosquitoes are most active can be helpful. Since people are also susceptible to this virus, repellents should also be used outside when mosquitoes are biting.

Information about West Nile and EEE, and reports of current and historical West Nile Virus activity in Massachusetts can be found on the MDPH website at http://www.mass.gov/dph/wnv.

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