LUDLOW, Mass. (WWLP) - There has been an increase this year in cases of mosquito-related illnesses like West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and the threat of becoming infected continues until the first frost.
That is why public health officials say it is important to do what you can to protect yourself. Covering up from dusk to dawn, wearing mosquito repellant, and getting rid of standing water are all ways that you can cut down your risk of getting bitten.
The state classifies the town of Ludlow as being at "high" risk for mosquito-borne illnesses, after the discovery of a horse in town that tested positive for West Nile . Francine Rusiecki, the Director of Nurses for the Ludlow Board of Health, says that this year's weather has played a big role in the increased risk.
"With the heat that we've been experiencing all summer and the mild winter, the mosquitoes are prevalent, and the virus is prevalent because of the heat so it's here in Massachusetts so we have to be careful," Rusiecki said.
Keep in mind, 80 percent of people infected with West Nile Virus have no symptoms. Most people who do get sick develop West Nile Fever, the symptoms of which are: fever, chills, headache, fatigue and muscle aches.
If you're worried about West Nile or other insect-borne diseases, we have a special page set up at wwlp.com. You can even take a quiz to test your knowledge.