Massachusetts health officials have taken the rare step of increasing the statewide risk level for West Nile virus.
The Department of Public Health announced Tuesday that it was raising the risk level for the mosquito-borne disease from low to moderate in every city and town in the state. It's only the second time officials have taken that step.
Dr. Monica Bharel, the state public health commissioner, says conditions are perfect for mosquito species carrying the virus to breed because of the hot and humid weather and frequent heavy rainfall.
Officials are urging people to avoid the outdoors at dusk and dawn, and to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants if outside during those periods. A full list of precautions is available on the health department's website.
There have been no reported human cases of West Nile virus in Massachusetts.
This article was originally published on August 21, 2018.