BURLINGTON - The Burlington Board of Health would like to inform residents that West Nile Virus (WNV) has been detected in mosquitoes collected from Burlington and surrounding towns. As a result, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has changed the WNV risk level from low to moderate for Burlington.
WNV can infect people of all ages, however, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe disease. WNV is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. 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.
The Burlington Board of Health requests that residents inspect their property to ensure that all standing water is removed. Unused buckets and containers, plastic toys, tires, wading pools, etc. should be emptied and water in birdbaths should be changed frequently.
During the summer, mosquito larvae can complete their development in water within a week. Residents should take precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites applying insect repellent or wearing additional clothing during peak mosquito hours from dusk to dawn and ensuring that all windows and doors have tightly fitting screens.
The Burlington Board of Health continues to work closely with the MDPH and the East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project (EMMCP). If residents have any questions about mosquitoes or how to control them, contact the EMMCP at 781-899-5730 or the Burlington Board of Health at 781-270-1955.