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West Nile Virus Found In Neighboring Watertown, MA

mosquito-1465063_640The Watertown Tab reported this week that the Watertown Health Department has found mosquitoes in Watertown that tested positive for West Nile Virus.

Should this cause alarm for Arlington residents? What does this mean for the Arlington community?

While West Nile Virus is no laughing matter, fortunately, the majority of people infected with West Nile typically exhibit either zero or few, non-serious symptoms. However, people over 50 years of age are the most susceptible to experiencing serious symptoms. These serious symptoms include brain swelling, headache, stiffness, disorientation, and in severe cases, coma, tremors, seizures and even paralysis. While less than 1% of infected people experience any of these symptoms, it’s essential to see a medical professional promptly if you believe you’re suffering from these symptoms.

How Do I Protect Myself?

While mosquitoes are certainly a resilient species, there are ways to limit your exposure to mosquitoes. Swamps are the most common breeding ground for mosquitoes, so avoiding such environments is one preventative measure. Other objects that may serve as mosquito hot spot include:

  • Swimming Pools
  • Old Tires
  • Outside Children’s Toys
  • Plant Pots
  • Fountains
  • Gutters

Considering it’s difficult, let alone unhealthy, to hide indoors for the entirety of mosquito season, you’ll inevitably be at risk for mosquito bites, regardless. Therefore, wear long-sleeved articles of clothing – especially items of clothing that cover up the ankles, which are the mosquitoes preferred area of the body to bite.

Mosquito repellants using chemicals such as DEET, IR3535, picaridin and lemon eucalyptus oils make effective defenses against mosquitoes.

For any questions concerning West Nile Virus, or other bug-related conditions, visit us at AFC Urgent Care Arlington, where our team of licensed physicians can effectively diagnose and treat a number of medical conditions. For more information, call us at 781.648.4572.