The Department of Health has confirmed the West Nile Virus in samples of mosquitoes collected by the Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project in the city Friday.
In an effort to reduce the mosquito population and potential for infection, a spraying has been scheduled for Monday, July 16, from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m., on roads within a one-mile radius of the Elm and Williams St. intersection.
In case it rains, the spraying may be rescheduled for the evening of Wednesday, July 18.
No human cases of the West Nile Virus have been reported in Massachusetts this season but MassDEP is stressing the importance of protecting yourself.
Most people infected by the virus will not have symptoms, MassDEP said. About 20 percent of those infected will have symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, swollen lymph glands, skin rash on chest, stomach, and back. One percent of infected people will develop severe illness.
Ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from mosquito-borne illness:
- 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 into 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.