Mosquitoes in northeastern Haverhill have tested positive for West Nile Virus, prompting spraying tonight in an isolated area.
There are no known human cases in the city.
Northeast Massachusetts Mosquito Control and Wetlands Management District, of which Haverhill and surrounding communities are members, notified the city of the virus in a pool of mosquitoes collected Monday.
Spraying takes place along public roads from Main Street to Kenoza Avenue and then onto Amesbury Road, Kenoza and Center Streets, Millvale Road, East Broadway, Old Ferry Road, Lincoln Avenue, Water Street and back to Main Street. The spray travels about 150 feet on either side of the distribution trucks.
The spray solution, Zenivex E4 RTM, is rated as extremely low toxicity to humans and animals and approved for use over agricultural crops intended for human consumption. Residents along the affected streets, however, are still advised to stay inside their homes with windows closed and keep pets indoors between 7:15 and 10:30 p.m.
Spraying trucks will avoid schools.
The Mosquito Control group will do additional larviciding of fresh-water wetlands and flooded areas in the coming weeks to reduce the hatching of mosquitoes in the near future.
In a statement, Mayor James J. Fiorentini urged the public to take such precautions against mosquito bites as using DET mosquito repellant, wearing long sleeves and long pants and avoiding outdoor activities from dusk to dawn. It is also suggested residents check their properties for unattended containers of standing water, which may attract mosquitoes.
West Nile virus 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.