West Nile Virus Still a Threat in New Bedford
NEW BEDFORD — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has notified the New Bedford Health Department of the finding of West Nile Virus in a primarily bird-biting mosquito sample obtained in the area of the New Bedford Business (Industrial) Park, located off of Phillips Road in the far north end of New Bedford.
The New Bedford Health Department and Bristol County Mosquito Control Program has completed its spraying of parks and events for the season. With cooler overnight temperatures, mosquito surveillance is less effective and the small numbers of mosquitoes trapped are not indicative of actual risk. While spraying is no longer an effective tool in reducing the threat under current temperature conditions, other precautionary measures remain effective.
Though populations are declining as we move away from mosquito season and into colder weather, it remains important to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites. Residents are urged to apply mosquito repellent and use clothing to reduce exposed skin.
The risk of mosquito-borne illness typically extends until an area has experienced a hard frost. A hard, or killing, frost is defined meteorologically as two consecutive hours of temperatures below 28 degrees Fahrenheit. This will occur at different times for different communities, and there may even be variation within communities based on local geography. Although mosquitoes are not killed until a hard frost occurs, they are extremely unlikely to be active when temperatures fall below 50 degrees in the evening.
Office of New Bedford Mayor Jonathan F. Mitchell