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Wilmington Mosquito Tests Positive for West Nile

The town has an additional spraying planned Thursday night in the area of Dublin Ave. following the positive test.

Wilmington joined the growing list of towns with confirmed cases of West Nile Virus as the town announced this morning that mosquitoes collected on August 7 tested positive for the virus.

According to a press release from Director of Public Health Shelly Newhouse, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced that West Nile was detected in mosquitoes collected in the Dublin Ave. wetlands area.

The type of mosquito tested is primarily a bird-biter, according to the release, but it will occasionally bite humans as well.

Towns in the surrounding area have also had issues with mosquitoes testing positive for various diseases in recent weeks. Reading recently had positive test for EEE, while the state announced on Wednesday that an .

“It’s prevalent every summer, but we’re just hearing more about it because it’s being seen in other states as well so it’s on the news more,” said Newhouse. “It’s been a few years since we’ve had a positive test in Wilmington.”

Newhouse said that last week, before the mosquito tested positive for West Nile, she requested extra spraying around town parks as a precaution because of the cases in surrounding towns.

Now with the positive test, an additional spraying by Central Massachusetts Mosquito Controlin in the area of Dublin Ave. will be done. The spraying will not be done aerially, but instead off of the back of a truck.

Though West Nile Virus is a concern, Newhouse said it is an illness that most people who contract it get over quickly. Residents over 50 years old and those with weakened immune systems are most susceptible to West Nile, and they would have to be bitten by a specific mosquito that is carrying the disease.

The Health Director said the most important thing for residents to do is remove all standing water from their yard, including things as small as children’s toys and bird bath.

“It’s just prevention that is the biggest thing,” said Newhouse.

Here is a look at further advice to help prevent West Nile Virus:

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 repellent.
  • Clothing Can Help reduce mosquito bites. Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing light colored long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin. 
  • Persons who find themselves outside at dusk and other times of high mosquito activity should continue to protect themselves from bites by wearing long pants and long sleeved shirts, and using a mosquito repellent with DEET; always follow the label on the repellent.

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, children's toys 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 WNV and reports of current and historical WNV virus activity in Massachusetts can be found on the MDPH website, or you can call the Board of Health at (978) 658-4298, or via e-mail. Residents can also visit the town website for more.

Mary Whitcomb August 16, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Hmmm.. saw a dead blue jay on one of my walks near Woburn St. School. Looked like it just fell from the sky - no apparent trauma. Could be more than just Dublin Ave wetlands.
Kevin McDonald August 16, 2012 at 04:03 PM
what kind of effect will this spraying have on the enviroment??
Kevin N August 16, 2012 at 04:11 PM
http://www.cmmcp.org/ This is the group responsible for spraying. There site has all the details of what they use.
Wade Samatis Kennedy August 16, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Kevin, if you read to the end of the article, a link has been posted for more info. MDPH website @ http://www.mass.gov/dph/wnv If you click that link, you will be a single click away from the answers to your rhetorical questions: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/cdc/factsheets/mosquito-spraying.pdf
Lisa Smith August 16, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Will they be spraying near town hall? Considering Pop Warner practices there every night at dusk...
Christine Berry MacKenzie August 17, 2012 at 12:03 AM
Lisa, the Pop Warner Field is being sprayed this evening. In addition a letter has been sent to all participants regarding a time change which will have them off the field before dusk. Parents are also being encouraged to use mosquito spray prior to practice and send extra for additional applications if needed.
MsJennie August 17, 2012 at 01:07 AM
I agree. I saw one on Glen Rd Tuesday.
Stacie August 17, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Sure it's not a Tewksbury mosquito?
Kevin MacDonald August 17, 2012 at 10:06 AM
West Nile Virus, EEE. Malaria and Town officials want to move a school closer to the wetlands.
Kevin MacDonald August 17, 2012 at 10:12 AM
Where is all the money going that is designated at town meeting for the statutory Mosquito control funding? Why does spraying just seem to start after an outbreak of West Nile Virus. I haven't seen any spraying has anyone else?
Jon August 17, 2012 at 10:55 AM
Kevin Have you ever tried needlepoint as a hobby?
Jon August 17, 2012 at 10:57 AM
I have seen spraying twice this year on my street as I have seen for the past 14 years.
Kevin MacDonald August 17, 2012 at 11:11 AM
No, It sounds like you're into it though. Do you enjoy basket weaving also?
Kevin MacDonald August 17, 2012 at 11:12 AM
Do you go out and make sure they sprayed you?
MsJennie August 17, 2012 at 11:15 AM
You can request to be sprayed:http://www.cmmcp.org/requestform2a.htm they will come pretty quickly.
MsJennie August 17, 2012 at 11:18 AM
No matter where you go there will be mosquitoes in Wilmington. We are surrounded by woods and wetlands. We are not able to escape them until the cold weather comes. So it is a mute point.
Carla August 17, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Christine- I received the email and happy about the practice change...Thank you Wilmington, and Popwarner for being proactive!
Kevin N August 17, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Mosquitoes tend to be around during the non-school months but nice try. Were you able to find something negative about the high school on the cute pet picture article?
Townie August 17, 2012 at 08:38 PM
MOOT Point! Dear God, can anyone spell any more?

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