Risk Level For West Nile Virus Raised To Moderate In Pittsfield, MA
The following information on West Nile Virus (being detected) in the Pittsfield/Berkshire area is courtesy of mass.gov and cdc.gov
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health confirmed a third positive result of West Nile Virus (WNV) in weekly samples of mosquitoes collected by the Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project in the City of Pittsfield.
The sample was taken in the vicinity of Allendale (Cheshire Road). According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s WNV Risk Map, Pittsfield’s WNV Risk level has now elevated to moderate.
This means “infection with WNV is likely or has occurred” in humans.
West Nile virus (WNV) is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States.
It is most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. Cases of WNV occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues through fall.
There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat WNV in people. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV do not feel sick.
About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms.
About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness.
You can reduce your risk of WNV by using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants to prevent mosquito bites. cdc.gov
It is important to note that at the time of this release, we have no confirmed human cases of WNV but encourage residents to take the following actions:
• Be prepared, know your risk and visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/massachusettsarbovirus-update regularly.
• Repair screens & clean up to rid of mosquito breeding sites.
• Be aware of stagnant water on private property (e.g., unused swimming pools) and consult with the local health department.
• Wear long sleeves and long pants from dusk to dawn when weather permits. • Use mosquito netting on baby carriages and playpens.
• Wear mosquito repellent when outdoors, especially between dusk and dawn.
• Dump standing water twice weekly.
• Remove areas of standing water around your home twice a week.
For more information, please contact the Pittsfield Health Department at (413) 499-9411 or contact the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), Division of Epidemiology and Immunization at (617) 983-6800 or toll-free at (888) 658-2850, or on the MDPH Arbovirus website at www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito.
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