Officials: Moderate risk for West Nile virus in Boston area

Fact Sheet: Mosquito-Borne Illnesses and Prevention »

BOSTON (AP) — State health officials have raised the West Nile virus risk level from “low” to “moderate” for Boston and 11 surrounding towns after multiple mosquitoes trapped in the area tested positive for the disease.

The Department of Public Health announced Thursday that the risk level was raised for Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Newton, Revere, Somerville and Watertown.

There have been no human cases of West Nile virus in the state this year. There were six human cases last year.

West Nile is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. Flu-like symptoms can occur. Less than 1 percent of people infected can develop serious neurological illnesses such as encephalitis or meningitis.

Health officials recommend people use mosquito repellant and wear long sleeves and long pants while outdoors.

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