News Details

West Nile Virus in West Springfield

August 11, 2017

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

CONTACT:    Jeanne Galloway, REHS, MPA, CHO

                        Director of Public Health

                        413-263-3206

                        jgalloway@townofwestspringfield.org

 

 

The West Nile Virus is HERE in West Springfield. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health just notified the West Springfield Health department that a group of mosquitoes collected earlier this week has tested positive for West Nile Virus.  The West Nile Virus risk level for West Springfield is still moderate.

 

In light of this increased local risk it is very important and highly recommended that citizens take precautions when enjoying outdoor activities such as hiking, yard work, soccer games, The Taste of the Valley, the Air Show or anything else that keeps you out during peak mosquito times. To protect yourself, your family and your pets from West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis use the following tips:

 

Avoid Mosquito Bites

  • Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535 according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.
  • Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning.
  • Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.

 

Mosquito-Proof Your Home

  • Drain Standing Water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently (every 2-3 days).
  • Install or Repair Window and Door Screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

 

Protect Your Animals

Animal owners should reduce potential mosquito breeding sites on their property by eliminating standing water from containers such as buckets, tires, and wading pools – especially after heavy rains. Water troughs provide excellent mosquito breeding habitats and should be flushed out at least once a week during the summer months to reduce mosquitoes near paddock areas. Horse owners should keep horses in indoor stalls at night to reduce their risk of exposure to mosquitoes. Owners should also speak with their veterinarian about mosquito repellents approved for use in animals and vaccinations to prevent WNV and EEE. If an animal is diagnosed with WNV or EEE, owners are required to report to the Mass Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR), Division of Animal Health by calling 617-626-1795 and to the Mass Department of Public Health (DPH) by calling 617-983-6800.

 

More information, including all WNV and EEE positive results from 2017, can be found on the Arbovirus Surveillance Information web page at www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito or by calling the DPH Epidemiology Program at 617-983-6800.

 

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