METHUEN - Mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus have been collected along the Interstate 93 corridor in Methuen and spraying for them will be conducted on Monday.
Mayor Stephen Zanni and the Methuen Board of Health today announced the presence of the mosquitoes and said the city is working with the Northeast Massachusetts Mosquito Control (NEMMC) on a spraying schedule.
Spraying Monday is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. as conditions allow, with Tuesday night as a backup, if necessary.
The target area identified by NEMMC is bordered by Pelham Street from the Central fire station to the Marsh School, Lowell Street from the Central fire station to the Forest Street intersection and all of Forest Street. The target area includes the neighborhoods within those borders and encompasses the area where the positive mosquito was found.
NEMMC has already sprayed at the schools and recreational fields prior to the opening of school. The city has also treated all of its catch basins with a larvicide and has provided information to residents on steps to take to reduce their exposure to mosquitoes.
West Nile Virus is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquitoes that carry this virus are common throughout the state, and are found in urban, as well as more rural areas. While the virus can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at a higher risk for severe infection.
Mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus have also been detected recently in Groveland and Haverhill.
More information about mosquito-borne illness and activity can be found on the City Health Department website at www.cityofmethuen.net, the NEMMC website at www.northeastmassmosquito.com or www.mass.gov/dph.