EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – For the second time this year, the West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitoes in western Massachusetts, most recently in East Longmeadow.
It can only be spread by an infected mosquito and cannot be spread from human to human.
However, your pets can get West Nile if they get bit by an infected mosquito.
Many times a person won’t experience symptoms, but for a small percentage of people, the illness may develop into encephalitis, a potentially deadly inflammation of the brain.
Dr. Ira Helfand from the Family Care Medical Center in Springfield told 22News, “Only about 25 to 40 percent of people who are infected develop symptoms. For most people, the symptoms are relatively non-specific. They’re like any viral illness.”
West Nile virus can also turn into meningitis in rare cases.
You can protect yourself by using a bug spray with DEET, and by avoiding dark colored clothing, standing water and going out at dawn and dusk.