Mosquito and Tick Diseases

Mosquito and Tick Diseases

Summertime is still upon us and people are enjoying walks in the park, outdoor sporting events, and other outdoor activities. However people are not the only ones enjoying this warmer weather, vectors such as mosquitos and ticks thrive in this weather as well. They carry bacteria, viruses, and protozoa that can transfer to humans and cause disease such as West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) from mosquitos and Lyme disease from ticks.

The best way to protect yourself and your family from disease such as West Nile Virus is to:

  • Avoid mosquitos
    • Mosquitos are most active from dusk to dawn
  • Wear long sleeved clothing 
  • Use insect repellents on exposed skin
    • Always use repellents as directed by the product label
    • Never use insect repellent on infants under 3 months
    • Do not use oil of lemon eucalyptus products on children under 3 years old
    • Never use permethrin products on skin
    • When returning home, wash off repellent with water and soap.
  • Install or repair screens in windows and doors
  • Remove any standing water around your house
  • Check for ticks daily

Map of EEE and WNV risk level by city/town


West Nile Virus Information

West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-carried virus that can cause illness ranging from a mild fever to more serious disease like encephalitis or meningitis. It was first identified in the United States in 1999. WNV is most commonly spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. More information about different types of mosquitoes that can spread WNV can be found on the MDPH website at www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito.


EEE Information

Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is a rare but serious disease caused by a virus that can affect people of all ages. EEE is generally spread to humans through the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus. EEE can cause severe illness and possibly lead to death in any age group; however, people under age 15 are at particular risk. EEE does not occur every year, but based on mosquito sampling, a high risk of occurrence of human cases currently exists.

Learn more about EEE and how to protect yourself and your family in this fact sheet about EEE and download the Mosquito-borne Disease Prevention Poster.

For additional general information, mosquito activity, and risk levels please check the  Massachusetts Department of Public Health Website or the East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project Website.