June 21, 2018

West Nile Virus tested positive in West Springfield

12 August 2017, 01:20 | Silvia Roy

West Nile Virus tested positive in West Springfield

2014 0705 mosquito

State officials say two mosquito-borne viruses that carry potentially serious health risks for humans have been detected in so-called sentinel chickens in DE for the first time this year.

The virus was discovered in mosquitos on Staten Island earlier this summer, and so far this season 337 "Mosquito pools" - or collections of bugs captured in an area and tested - have tested positive, which is a record for this point in the summer.

Fewer than one in 50 will become severely ill with encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues).

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Human cases of West Nile happen each year in New York City, and a lot of them are identified between late July and October. "This year we are seeing both at the same time and it is a reminder to avoid mosquito bites". Just because West Nile was only found in one zip code does not mean that is the only place the virus is present in Kent County, said Adam London, administrative health officer at the health department. The symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.

The number could result in more infections for 2017, Health Department officials said.

There is now no treatment for WNV for those infected other than supportive care.

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When weather permits, wear long sleeves, long trousers, and socks when outdoors.

Before going outdoors, keep in mind to apply an insect repellent containing 25 to 35 percent DEET when outdoors. DEET is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is the most effective and best-studied insect repellent available. Empty standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths on a regular basis.

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