Massachusetts announces first case of West Nile virus

west nile virus
Elderly people are at higher risk for complications from West Nile virus. Credit: Metro Archive

State public health officials on Monday announced the first human case of West Nile virus of the year, a Plymouth County man in his 70s who is recovering but remains hospitalized. 

The Department of Public Health is conducting an investigation to determine where the man was most likely exposed to mosquitoes infected with the virus.

Last year, 33 West Nile cases were detected among Massachusetts residents.

While it can infect people of all ages, people over 50 are at higher risk for severe disease. State officials again cautioned residents to take steps to protect themselves and their pets from mosquito bites.

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