August 11, 2017
CONTACT: Jeanne Galloway, REHS, MPA, CHO
Director of Public Health
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
Mosquito-Proof Your Home
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.