Mosquitos Test Positive for West Nile Virus in Pittsfield
Mosquitos are as annoying as ever this summer -- especially in Pittsfield.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has confirmed the presence of West Nile Virus in samples of mosquitoes collected by the Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project in the City of Pittsfield, according to City officials in a release.
While the City of Pittsfield did not reveal the exact location where the virus was found, it seems as if a small area of the city will be the target of spraying; which is scheduled for early next week.
"To reduce the mosquito population and potential for infection, truck-mounted mosquito spray application is scheduled for 10 p.m.-midnight, Monday, July 16, on roads within a one-mile radius of the Elm and Williams street intersection," an official said. "In the event of rain, spraying may be rescheduled for the evening of Wednesday, July 18."
City officials state that the best way to protect yourselves, and loved ones, is to take precautions:When outdoors, wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and socks.
• When outdoors, wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and socks.
• Use a repellent with DEET according to the instructions on the product label.
• Keep mosquitoes out of your house by repairing holes in screens and making sure screens fit tightly to doors and windows.
• Schedule outdoor events to avoid the hours between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
• Remove areas of standing water around your home to eliminate sources of mosquito breeding.
There haven't been any reported human cases of West Nile in Massachusetts this season. Some symptoms to watch out for include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, swollen lymph glands and skin rash on chest, stomach and back -- which 20 percent of infected people will develop. Around one percent of people will suffer a severe illness due to West Nile.
Pittsfield officials also explained that if you would like to be excluded from next week's spraying in the targeted area, you can do so by filling out an Exclusion Request Form -- which can be found here.