The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has confirmed the presence of West Nile virus in two samples of mosquitoes collected by the Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project in the City of Pittsfield. There has been a sustained presence of West Nile virus since late July.
To reduce the mosquito population and potential for infection, truck-mounted mosquito spray application is scheduled for 10 p.m.-midnight, Tuesday, Sept.12, on roads within a one-mile radius of the Crane Avenue and North Street intersection and the Elm and Williams Street intersection.
In the event of rain, spraying may be rescheduled for the evening of Wednesday, Sept.13.
A map of the scheduled spray area is available on the City of Pittsfield website at http://www.cityofpittsfield.org/city_hall/health_and_inspections/2017_mosquito_control_update.php
This application will not leave significant residue and is not persistent in the environment.
West Nile virus is most commonly spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Although there are no reported human cases of West Nile virus in Massachusetts this season, protection is important in late summer.The risk for human transmission of West Nile virus is highest in the months of August and September. Residents should continue to avoid mosquito bites regardless of where they live until the first hard frost.The majority of people who are infected will not have symptoms. However, about 20 percent of infected people will have symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, swollen lymph glands, skin rash on chest, stomach and back; one percent of infected people will develop severe illness.
The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from mosquito borne illness is to take the following precautions:
- When outdoors, wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and socks.
- Use a repellent with DEET according to the instructions on the product label.
- Keep mosquitoes out of your house by repairing holes in screens and making sure screens fit tightly to doors and windows.
- Schedule outdoor events to avoid the hours between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Remove areas of standing water around your home to eliminate sources of mosquito breeding.
Residents may request to be excluded from pesticide application by submitting an Exclusion Request Form which can be obtained at http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/agr/pesticides/mosquito/pesticide-application-exclusions.html. The form is also available by contacting the Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project at 413-447-9808 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about mosquito borne viruses call the Pittsfield Health Department at 499-9411 or visit The City of Pittsfield website at www.cityofpittsfield.org or the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website at http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/