West Nile found in Abington, precautions urged

Mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus have been found in Abington, according to the state Department of Public Health.

Abington health officials said residents shouldn’t panic, but should take steps to reduce the chances of getting bitten by an infected mosquito.

“While the news of a mosquito sample testing positive for West Nile Virus in our town can be stressful for residents, there many steps that can be taken to prevent mosquito bites which will lessen the chance of exposure,” said Lindsay Wright, Abington’s public health nurse. “Residents can use insect repellants, wear long sleeve clothing, schedule outdoor activities to avoid the dusk to dawn time period when mosquito activity is the highest, repair any holes in window and door screen so mosquitoes cannot enter your home, and remove standing water sources around your home such as buckets or other containers.”

State health officials said the infected mosquito was found in the northwest section of town. The state is not currently planning any widespread aerial spraying, said Abington Health Agent Chris Schultz. The state Department of Agricultural Resources did announce earlier this week that Reilly Field and the area around the Nisby Bandstand would be sprayed for mosquitos on August 18-19 and again August 24-25.

Residents can also request spraying through Plymouth County Mosquito Control, said Board of Health Chairman Aaron Christian.

According to the CDC, only about 1 in 5 people infected with West Nile Virus feel sick, with about 1 in 150 developing a serious and possibly fatal illness.

Wright asked residents to spread word so that more people in town can take preventative actions.

“It is important to remember that fences don’t stop mosquitos so encourage your neighbors to do the same or if they are unable to empty a container of water – offer to assist them,” she said.

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