Mosquito samples in Hadley, South Hadley test positive for West Nile Virus
(WGGB/WSHM) - Mosquito samples gathered in two Hampshire County towns, Hadley and South Hadley, have tested positive for West Nile Virus. The latest data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health comes after two samples came back positive in West Springfield last month.
“It’s transmitted by mosquitos usually by bird-to-bird, but occasionally, mosquitos that feed on birds and us do what’s called bridging into our species, so they bring the bird virus into humans or, in some cases, our pets like our horses,” said Stephen Rich, director of the New England Regional Center for Vector-borne Diseases. “It generally tends to be a mild illness in most people, except the elderly can get severely affected or severe disease.”
Rich said that the rise in positive test pools is somewhat anticipated every year, but people should not be too alarmed. He told Western Mass News that the risk right now in western Massachusetts is low.
“While it’s been found, it’s still very much in a low frequency, so that means very few mosquitos have it,” Rich explained.
He also recommended the longstanding preventative measures to reduce exposure to mosquitoes including wearing long sleeved loose clothing, using repellant, and limiting your time outside to when mosquitos are the least active.
“You can’t get West Nile Virus any other way than through a mosquito bite,”
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