In this area, mosquitoes are most
prevalent from May to August, but remain active until the first time
temperatures fall below freezing. In Massachusetts, mosquitoes can spread West
Nile Virus and eastern equine encephalitis (EEE).
West Nile Virus infections can
cause fever, headache and body aches, with a skin rash and swollen lymph
glands. A small number of people who are infected can develop a more serious
illness, which can cause headaches, high fever, stiff neck, confusion, muscle
weakness, tremors, convulsions, coma, paralysis, swelling of the brain and even
Symptoms of EEE include high fever,
stiff neck, headache, and lack of energy. Encephalitis, the swelling of the
brain, is the most dangerous complication of EEE and can cause coma and death.
Residents should see their doctor if they develop any symptoms of West Nile
Virus or EEE.
The Ipswich Public Health Department encourages residents to follow these tips provided by Massachusetts Department of Public Health:
· Use insect repellent with DEET any time you are outdoors. Be sure to follow the application directions on the label.
· Be aware of peak mosquito hours, which are generally from dusk to dawn. Wear protective clothing when outdoors during peak mosquito hours such as long sleeves, long pants, high socks, hats with netting to cover the face, and any other clothing that will cover exposed skin.
· Use mosquito netting around baby carriages or child playpens when your baby is outdoors.
· Make sure screens are repaired and are tightly attached to doors and windows.
· Remove standing water from places such as puddles, ditches, birdbaths and gutters, which are breeding grounds for mosquitoes.