This Is A Record You Don’t Want To Break
Words that you really don't want to hear or read but it is going to be a record year for the local mosquito population in Berkshire County.
Over the last week, the Health Department the Berkshire County Mosquito Control Project had fielded hundreds of calls from residents about high population numbers.
West Nile was confirmed Thursday in another sampling of mosquitos in the area, raising the number of positive samples to 20 in recent weeks. While no human in Berkshire County has tested positive, there have been nine human and two animal cases in the state.
The state does, however, does test the Culex pipiens species for West Nile and more of those have been carrying the virus than in years past. So far, 20 mosquitoes tested positive for the disease, five of which were confirmed earlier this week, in Pittsfield alone.
Iberkshires.com reports that "DPH reported it is double the virus than normal," Armstrong said.
Countywide a total of 50 mosquitoes were confirmed with the virus The project collects samples in just 10 Berkshire towns and those samples are tested by the state. Across the state, there have been nine human cases and two animal cases -- though there have been none of either in Berkshire County.
About 20 percent of infected people will have symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, swollen lymph glands, skin rash on the chest, stomach, and back. One percent of infected people will develop severe illness but the majority of people who are infected will not have symptoms.
Armstrong said with the nine people identified across the state, those have been serious cases leading the individual to be in the hospital.
The 20 findings in Pittsfield is dramatically different from 2016, when there were only two findings of West Nile and in 2014 when there was only one.
With a greater presence and a greater number of mosquitoes, the Health Department and the Berkshire Mosquito Control Project are concerned about the possible spread of West Nile Virus. In response to the consistent presence of the disease, the project deploys a truck-mounted adulticide spraying to kill off adult mosquitoes.
In a press release that was on September 7th from the Department of Health, they have given good advice on how important it is to take to take personal protective measures to avoid bites:
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 twice a week to eliminate sources of mosquito breeding. 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.
Armstrong emphasized the importance of residents to continue taking precautions in September when the most cases of diseases are reported.
In a press release that was online from the Gina Armstrong of the Health Dept said after the most recent discovery of West Nile in a mosquito, a truck-mounted mosquito spray application is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 11-12, between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. on roads within a one-mile radius from intersection of Peck's Road and Wahconah Street; Garland Avenue and North Street; Warwick Street and Pomeroy Avenue. The rain date will be Wednesday, Sept 12.