Protecting yourself from West Nile virus this summer

Hampden County

The West Nile virus has been detected in Mosquitos in West Springfield.

An infected mosquito was part of a sample taken in the Merrick section of West Springfield, but the city’s Public Health Department said the risk isn’t limited to just that part of town.

Mosquito season hasn’t quite reached its peak, but the State Department of Public Health this week collected two groups of mosquitos that tested positive for West Nile virus in West Springfield.

The city’s Department of Public Health said while the risk of human infection is low at this point, they’re urging precautions to prevent West Nile to people.

“Long sleeves, wear long pants,” said Jeanne Galloway, director of West Springfield Public Health. “Use DEET or some other approved mosquito repellant. And limit the amount of activities you spend where mosquitoes are, generally, that’s dusk to dawn.”

Galloway recommends using bug sprays with a 30-percent DEET content or higher, except for on young children.

“We’re in a low level right now even though we’ve found positive here,” Galloway told 22News. “A couple more positives would probably bump us up to moderate. If we get humans, that’s when we go to the next level. Right now we’re just trying to remind people to be doing what they should be doing all along.”

The Health Department also recommends eliminating mosquito breeding at your home, by draining any standing water outside like birdbaths and fountains.

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