State officials announced the first human case of West Nile virus in Bristol County this year, raising Seekonk to the medium-risk category.
The Public Health Service said Thursday that a woman in her thirties in the county had been diagnosed with the virus, but her name and town of residence were not disclosed. She collapsed with meningitis.
“This is the first case of West Nile virus of the year in people under the age of 50,” said Marglet Cook, acting public health commissioner. “This reminds us that people over the age of 50 are at increased risk of West Nile virus, but all ages can be affected.”
This is the seventh human case of the virus of the year, others dating back to the counties of Essex and Middlesex. There were 5 cases last year.
Since September 1, DPH has released six human and one animal cases of the virus.
Mosquitoes that carry the virus have been found in several local communities, including Attleboro, Mansfield, Rehoboth, Seekonk, and Daiton.
Twenty-seven communities in Essex, Middlesex, Brookline, and Suffolk counties are at high risk, and 49 communities are at moderate risk.
Based on mosquito detection and new human cases, Seaconk and 10 additional communities are classified as moderate risk. Fall River is the only other community upgraded in Bristol County.
Rehoboth and Dighton were previously in the medium risk category.
Remaining in the low-risk category of the region are Attleboro, North Attleboro, Norton, Mansfield, Foxborough, Plainville, Lentham, Norfolk and Franklin.
West Nile fever is usually bitten by infected mosquitoes and infects humans. The virus can infect people of all ages, but people over the age of 50 are at increased risk of serious illness. Most infected people have no symptoms that tend to include illnesses such as fever and the flu. In rare cases, more serious illnesses can occur.
Heavy rains over the past few weeks have increased the number of mosquitoes that carry the virus, officials said.
Authorities warn that mosquito activity around dusk and dawn may become more intense as overnight temperatures cool.
“The risk of West Nile virus continues until the first heavy frost. People should remember to take steps to prevent mosquito bites whenever they are outdoors,” Cook said. Stated.
The risk level for eastern equine encephalitis, another mosquito-carrying disease, remains low at this time, officials said.
Residents are advised to use mosquito repellents. Other procedures are recommended for long clothing, use and repair of screens, and removal of standing water.
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