West Nile virus found here in mosquito


Crews sprayed sections of north Westport Friday after tests of  mosquitos trapped  there revealed the presence of West Nile Virus. This was the first time this season that the virus has been detected in Southeastern Massachusetts or nearby Rhode Island towns.

Spraying was done from trucks along roadsides, not from planes.

The Bristol County Mosquito Control, which did the spraying in the pre-dawn areas, did not specify where the infected mosquito was caught or what places were to be sprayed except to note that the mosquito was found in one of seven Westport pools regularly tested.

The West Nile virus was discovered in a bird-biting type of mosquito but officials caution that the discovery suggests that humans are probably at risk of exposure as well.

Around a foot of rain fell in June here prompting a mosquito population boom. Testers said they have never seen so many mosquitos in their traps as have shown up in July.

Although the mosquito numbers dropped a bit during the heat wave, people are cautioned to drain any standing water where mosquitos breed and to take precautions, especially when out at dusk or dawn.

Most people infected with West Nile suffer no symptoms, but others experience symptoms including head and body ache, fever, nausea and skin rashes. A very small number of cases bring much more serious symptoms including coma, convulsions and paralysis.


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