Protecting yourself from mosquito-borne diseases

Weather News

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The recent rain means more standing water and that can attract mosquitoes and the illnesses that they bring.

Like so many people in our area, Chicopee resident Cynthia Starzyk likes to take morning walks at Ashley Reservoir in Holyoke. Something she is careful of when she’s out are mosquito bites.

“That is why I use that Off spray. You just never know, and I want safety when I walk,” said Starzyk.

Mosquitos can carry harmful diseases such as EEE or West Nile virus. The first West Nile virus-positive mosquito sample of the year was found in eastern Massachusetts earlier this month. Mosquito-borne diseases are spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. West Nile Virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the United States. EEE is another mosquito-borne virus that is rare but has been found here in Massachusetts.

The best way to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites is using an insect repellent but do not use insect repellent on babies younger than two months of age. When you are outside while mosquitoes are active, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. You can even treat clothing and gear such as boots, pants, socks, and tents with a repellent. Use screens on windows and doors. Repair holes in screens to keep mosquitoes outside.

“I am using some rub on stuff that’s both for the sun and for insects,” said Kathleen Meyer of West Springfield.

Keep mosquitoes from laying eggs in and near standing water. Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out items that hold water, such as tires, buckets, planters, pools, birdbaths, or trash containers. Mosquitoes tend to be most active at dawn and dusk.

So far there are no human or animal cases of West Nile or Triple EEE reported here in the state.

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