SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP) – West Nile Virus was discovered in the West Nile District of Uganda in the thirties. Now were seeing infected mosquitoes here in western Massachusetts.
West Nile virus is most commonly spread to people through a bite from an infected Mosquito.
Infected mosquitoes have been found in Holyoke, East Longmeadow, Greenfield and Northampton. While there are no human cases so far, residents are concerned; for themselves and for their pets.
Ralph Rodriguez of Springfield said before he had to worry about ticks and now having to worry about West Nile when it comes to his dog being outside.
According to the CDC, most people infected with West Nile have no symptoms.One in five people infected will develop a fever or mild aches. Some people will have a very severe reaction.
“People who are very ill might need various kinds of support like intervenes medicine, occasionally be on a respirator, things of that sort,” said Dr. Helfand.
Dr. Ira Helfand told 22News that there are no specific treatments for West Nile Virus but there are steps you can take to protect yourself from contracting it.
Using insect repellent when outdoors and avoiding outside activity around dawn and dusk can minimize your chances of getting bitten by an infected mosquito.
Dr. Helfand also suggest wearing long sleeves, long pants and socks when you’re outdoors during those times.
In some cases people will develop a rash when bitten by an infected mosquito. If that happens, Dr. Helfand said you should seek medical assistance right away.