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West Nile virus detected in Norfolk County

                          (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is reporting West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitoes in Norfolk County.

The WNV-postivie mosquito sample was collected on July 21st in Walpole.

Earlier this week, health officials announced that a mosquito sample infected with Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) had been identified in the town of Freetown.

“West Nile virus has come around again, as we expect it will every year” DPH State Epidemiologist Dr. Al DeMaria said in a statement. “Just take a moment to do something to protect yourself from mosquito bites by using clothing to cover up or applying bug spray. Getting rid of any accumulated water around your yard will also help keep more mosquitoes from breeding.”

So far, there have been no human cases of West Nile Virus or EEE this year. There have been sixteen cases of WNV in humans during the last five years.

While WNV can infect people of all ages, 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.

WNV positive mosquito results from 2009 can be found on the Arbovirus Surveillance Information web page.

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