EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

September 14, 2013

More mosquitoes test positive for West Nile in Methuen

METHUEN — For the second week in a row, Massachusetts Department of Public Health officials have found mosquitoes samples with the West Nile virus.

William J. Buckley, director of Methuen’s Department of Economic and Community Development, said the infected mosquito was found late yesterday afternoon west of Interstate 93. While the department of public health does not give an exact location, Buckley said the area is within the city border west of I-93, encompassing routes 110 and 113 toward Dracut.

“It’s a threat that we should take seriously,” said Buckley, who supervises the city’s Health Department.

On Monday at 7 p.m., Northeast Massachusetts Mosquito Control will spray in all areas of the city west of I-93 and a small area in the northeast corner of town where the first case was found near the Haverhill line.

Humans contract the West Nile virus when bitten by infected mosquitoes, with children and people over 50 at a higher risk of severe infection.

“We’re taking all the precautions we can by spraying and educating residents on how to prevent it,” Mayor Steve Zanni said.

The mayor said schools and recreational fields were sprayed before schools opened. All of the city’s catch basins were treated with a larvicide.

On Sept. 9, spraying was done from Pelham Street to the Central Fire Station to the Marsh School, as well as Lowell Street from the Central Fire Station to the Forest Street intersection and also all of Forest Street, where the infected mosquito was found.

“We did some spraying and we were not able to eradicate it and I don’t know if we ever can,” Buckley said. “West Nile is here and we need due diligence in our preventive measure.”

Despite the two confirmed cases, Buckley said the state Department of Public Health lists Methuen as low risk level.

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