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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHICOPEE – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has announced that West Nile Virus (WNV) has been detected in mosquito specimens collected in Chicopee, Massachusetts. In 2017, 5,496 samples were positive. Chicopee had one positive mosquito sample identified in 2017.
WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquitoes that carry this virus are common throughout the State, and are found in urban as well as rural areas. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection.
Public Health Officials in Chicopee continue to work closely with MDPH and other agencies in surveillance of the local mosquito population. We are committed to notifying our residents of any WNV activity in Chicopee.
Information about WNV and reports of current and historical WNV activity in Massachusetts, as well as more information on choosing and using repellents safely is included in the MDPH Mosquito repellents fact sheet which can be viewed online at www.mass.gov/dph/wnv.
By taking a few common sense precautions, people can help to protect themselves and their loved ones:
Avoid Mosquito Bites;
Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours: The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning;
Clothing Can Help reduce mosquito bites. By wearing long sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin;
Apply Insect Repellent when you go outdoors;
Mosquito-Proof Your Home;
Drain Standing Water: Many mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to be either by draining or getting rid of items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools and change water in birdbaths frequently; and
Install or Repair Screens: Some mosquitoes like to come indoors. Keep them outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all your windows and doors.
Please contact the Chicopee Health Department with any questions in regards to West Nile Virus at 413-594-3557 Ext. 276.