West Nile Virus risk raised from low to moderate in Massachusetts


The Massachusetts Department of Public Health on Tuesday raised the risk level for West Nile Virus state wide.

Though the risk level has only been raised from low to moderate, this is only the second time the state Department of Public Health has had to raise the risk level state wide. 

Though no human cases have been reported yet in Massachusetts, the DPH said August and September are when the largest number of human cases occur, which is why they’re issuing the warning now. The department said recent rains combined with humid weather and warm temperatures are the ideal breeding conditions for the mosquitos that carry West Nile Virus. 

“They have been bad. I have been outdoors a lot and I do wear bug spray. I’m at a higher risk because I’m outdoors so much, but it definitely helps wearing bug spray,” said Abigail Parrow of Chicopee.

The Department of Public Health said people over the age of 50 are at a greater risk for severe cases of the virus. They’re encouraging everyone to continue wearing bug spray as we move into peak mosquito season. 

The DPH said people should consider limiting their outdoor activity at dusk and dawn when the risk of being bitten is the greatest.

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