, Salem, MA


August 22, 2013

Our view: The spraying season

Summer may be winding down, but it is peak transmission time for mosquito-borne viruses.

In Salem, the city sprayed part of the South Salem area after having a mosquito test positive for the West Nile virus earlier this month. Beverly and Peabody have also conducted spraying, and infected mosquitoes have been found in Marblehead and Middleton.

So far, the West Nile virus, which can cause anything from a mild fever to encephalitis and meningitis, has not been detected in humans. There was more sobering news from Norfolk County, where a woman in her 80s died after contracting Eastern equine encephalitis.

While there’s no cause for panic, health officials urge residents to avoid being bitten (as if we needed the extra incentive).

Health experts offer the following time-tested tips:

Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that take place at dusk or down, when mosquitoes like to feed;

Wear long-sleeve shirts and pants when outdoors;

Always use repellent;

Drain any standing water on your property. It gives mosquitoes a place to breed.

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