WOBURN - Mosquitoes collected in surrounding area town tested positive for both West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis in late August.
The Woburn Board of Health urged residents to take precautions against mosquito bites and limit outdoor activities at night when mosquitoes are most active.
People over 50 are at the highest risk for contracting West Nile virus. While many people infected with the virus never experience symptoms, they can suffer fever and flu-like illnesses. In rare cases, the symptoms can be more severe.
While EEE cases in humans are rare, it can be fatal or cause serious neurological problems. Several towns have had mosquitoes test positive for EEE this season, and there have been a handful of reported human cases.
"By taking a few, common-sense precautions, people can help to protect themselves and their loved ones," the health board said in a statement.
Tips to Avoid Mosquito Bites:
Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning. If you are outdoors at any time and notice mosquitoes around you, take steps to avoid being bitten by moving indoors, covering up and/or wearing repellant.
Clothing Can Help reduce mosquito bites. Although it may be difficult to do when it's hot, wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin. Apply Insect Repellent when you go outdoors.
Use a repellent with DEET. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age. Permethrin products are intended for use on items such as clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear and should not be applied to skin.
Mosquito-Proof Your Home:
Drain Standing Water. Many mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or getting rid of items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently.
Install or Repair Screens. Some mosquitoes like to come indoors. Keep them outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.
Information about EEE and reports of current and historical EEE and WNV virus activity in Massachusetts can be found on the MDPH website at www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito. If residents have any questions about mosquitoes or how to control them, contact the Mass department of public health at 617-983-6800.