LUDLOW, Mass. (WWLP) - The West Nile virus is spreading faster than it has in previous summers in the U. S. The number of cases is now nearing 700, with nearly 30 deaths reported.
Western Massachusetts is on high alert after a horse in Ludlow was tested positive for the virus.
Climate experts say the mild winter and rainy spring created the perfect conditions for mosquitoes to breed. But this season's drought has also added to the problem. Mosquitoes get the virus from birds; and since there have been fewer water sources recently, both mosquitoes and birds have been co-existing closer together than usual. As a result, it's been easier for humans to become infected.
But 22News is working for you with some tips on how you can protect yourself:
- Experts recommend using insect repellant whenever you're outdoors.
- Drain areas of standing water (i. e. bird baths or kiddie pools).
- Make sure your windows and doors have well-fitting screens.
- Stay inside at dawn and dusk--that's when mosquitoes are most active.
It's important to note that most West Nile victims have no symptoms and recover quickly.