SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – So far this summer, all the mosquitoes samples carrying deadly diseases were found in the eastern part of the state, but that doesn’t mean that you can let your guard down.
It’s a warning we hear every summer. Using bug repellents can keep you safe from mosquito bites and mosquito-borne illnesses, such as West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
Daviani Garrafa of Springfield said, “It’s really important. I don’t get as much bites when I use it.” While Misha Graham of Springfield said, “Definitely lots of bug repellents. I really try to avoid being outside at night especially, when they are in an attack mode.”
In 2014, 34 mosquito samples in central and eastern Massachusetts tested positive to either West Nile or EEE. State health officials have not found any infected mosquitoes in western Massachusetts, but a typical mosquito season lasts until we have several hard frosts.
The state Department of Public Health tests random mosquito samples throughout the mosquito season. The results from 2013 and 2012 show that mosquito-borne illnesses continue to affect people and animals well into September and October.
In 2013, a horse got infected with EEE on September 18. Then a week later, on September 26, a different horse tested positive to West Nile Virus. The year before that, in 2012, the last reported cases for people and animals occurred on October 14 and 16.
So health officials advise, use bug repellents and take precautions until at least the second frost.