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Posted on: August 13, 2018

WEST NILE VIRUS - Protect Yourself from Mosquito Bites

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August 2018

The Winchester Board of Health would like to remind all residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites. Mosquito-borne illness will continue to be a risk until the first overnight frost and precautions should be taken. West Nile Virus (WNV) has been identified in mosquitoes in nearby communities and Winchester is now in a moderate risk category for WNV.

WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquitoes that carry this virus are common throughout the state, and are found in urban as well as, more rural areas. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe illness.

By taking a few common-sense precautions, people can help to protect themselves and their loved ones:

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 repellant.
  • Clothing Can Help reduce mosquito bites. Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
  • Use mosquito netting on baby carriages or playpens when your baby is outdoors.
  • Apply Insect Repellent when you go outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age. Permethrin products are intended for use on items such as clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear and should not be applied to skin.

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, and change water in birdbaths frequently.
  • Install or Repair Screens - Some mosquitoes like to come indoors. Keep them outside by having tight-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

The Winchester Board of Health continues to work closely with the East Middlesex & Suffolk County Mosquito Control Projects as well as, the Mass Department of Public Health. Locally, we have applied larvicide to catch basins and limited wetland areas. For more information contact the Health Department office at 781-721-7121.

Information about WNV and reports of current and historical WNV virus activity in Massachusetts can be found on the MDPH website at: http://www.mass.gov/dph/ and use the search word “mosquito.”


Board of Health                      
Cathy C. Donaghey , Chair

Kerry Bartlett, MHS, Vice-Chair

Shannon Bottari, MD

Jennifer Murphy, MPH, Director

Kathy Whittaker, RN, Public Health Nurse

Tel: 781-721-7121 

Fax: 781-729-1794 


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