The amount of mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile Virus is increasing in Boston, with the latest tests confirming mosquito pools in Fenway contain the virus.
According to the Boston Public Health Commission, tests performed earlier this week confirmed a WNV-positive mosquito pool in Fenway for the first time this season, as well as additional positive mosquito pools in West Roxbury and Jamaica Plain. Mosquito pools in Hyde Park and Roslindale tested positive for WNV earlier in the summer.
Despite the new findings, there have still been no recorded human cases of mosquito-borne illnesses in Boston this year.
The Boston Public Health Commission encourages people to take simple precautions to reduce the risk of mosquito bites. These steps include using insect repellant when outdoors, especially from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are more likely to be biting and, when possible, wearing clothing that includes long sleeves and pants. People should also mosquito-proof their home by making sure that their window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquitoes from getting into the house.
To prevent mosquitoes from breeding, the Boston Public Health Commission advises people to turn over unused flower pots, buckets, wheelbarrows, and garbage cans; remove leaves and other debris that can clog gutters and trap water; dispose of or cover old tires; and cover swimming pools when not in use.
WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus, but it poses very low risk to most people. The risk can be further reduced by following simple safety measures.
The City of Boston, in partnership with the Suffolk County Mosquito Control Project, has placed larvicide in catch basins and wetlands around the city, a process designed to reduce the mosquito population. Targeted, truck-mounted aerosol spraying has also been performed to help control the mosquito population in certain areas of Boston. Spraying was conducted in Hyde Park and in East Boston earlier this summer.