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Boston Seniority magazine: Mosquito bite prevention


Published by:

Age Strong Commission

The West Nile Virus risk level was raised from low to moderate in the City of Boston. We have information below on how to protect yourself from mosquito-borne illnesses.

The source of the information below is from the Boston Public Health Commission.

What diseases are spread by mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes in Boston can spread West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). People can get WNV or EEE when an infected mosquito bites them. Mosquitoes get these diseases by biting infected birds, but people cannot get WNV or EEE from birds. Most people bitten by infected mosquitoes experience no symptoms or mild symptoms, but some can develop serious disease.

Do people in Boston get sick from mosquitoes?

WNV has been found in Boston mosquitoes every year since 2000 and has caused some people to get very sick. EEE is found occasionally in Boston mosquitoes. Cases of EEE in people are extremely rare in Boston, but can happen.

Am I at risk?

Mosquitoes in Boston are most active and most likely to carry disease from July to September, but they can spread disease until the first hard frost (as late as November). People over age 50 are most at risk to experience serious illness if they are infected with WNV. EEE can cause serious illness in any age group.

What should I do if a mosquito bites me?

Both WNV and EEE are rare, and it is unlikely that you will get sick from a mosquito bite. However, you should contact your doctor immediately if you develop high fever, confusion, severe headache, stiff neck, or if your eyes become sensitive to light.

How can I help prevent mosquito-borne illnesses?

If you are outdoors from dusk to dawn, or in an area with mosquitoes, consider these options to stop mosquito bites: Use an EPA-approved repellent anytime you’re outdoors Wear long pants, long sleeves and socks to reduce exposed skin outdoors Repair torn screens to keep mosquitoes outside Remove standing water around the house to prevent mosquitoes from breeding For more information, go to

Boston Seniority magazine

This article is taken from a recent issues of Boston Seniority magazine. Our magazine covers topics of interest to older Bostonians. These include news, feature stories, resources, and upcoming events.