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Area Sprayed after West Nile Virus Found in Milford

After mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus were found in the southeast corner of Milford off Central St. at the beginning of this month, the Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project (CMMCP) sprayed that section of town with pesticide and treated catch basins on 16 streets to stop the emergence of mosquito species that can carry the virus.

Additional mosquito surveillance traps were set up by the CMMCP to gauge mosquito population density, according to Health Agent Paul Mazzuchelli. He listed the streets involved as: Acorn Circle, Alden St., Archer Avenue, Beach St., Beach St. Extension, Bear Hill Rd., Canali Drive, Central St., East St., East St. Extension, Frank Dr., Hayward St., Hillside Ave., Moschilli Circle, Mount Pleasant St. and South Central St..

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the West Nile Virus can cause fevers, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord). Mazzuchelli said the Board of Health encourages people to avoid mosquito bites by:

• Being 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.

• Wearing Protective Clothing: 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.

• Applying Insect Repellent: 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 percent 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-Proofing Homes: 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. Contact 508-929-1300 if you have an abandoned pool in your neighborhood. You also should install or repair windows screens in your home.

Information about the West Nile virus reports of its activity in Massachusetts can be found on the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) website at www.mass.gov/dph/wnv. Recorded information about the virus also is available by calling the MDPH's Public Health Information Line at 1-866-MASS-WNV (1-866-627-7968).




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