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Springfield Department of Health and Human Services Issues Public Health Advisory after Mosquito found in Springfield Tested Positive for West Nile Virus

|   City News

The City of Springfield Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is issuing a public health advisory after a mosquito sample taken in Springfield tested positive for the West Nile Virus, according to the Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The risk of catching West Nile virus in Springfield remains low, according to the State Department of Public Health.

HHS Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris states, “Although the risk of catching West Nile virus remains low, it is important for our residents to be aware of this finding that we now have a confirmed case of a mosquito testing positive for West Nile virus.  Previously, in Western Massachusetts, there were also positive case reported in East Longmeadow, South Hadley, and West Springfield, so this positive test of a mosquito here in Springfield is not a surprise to the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services.  Most people who are infected do not experience any symptoms of illness.  Those that do often experience a headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, and body aches.  Although in most cases the individual with mild symptoms will recover on their own after a few days or several weeks.  It is still important to check in with your primary care giver.”

Mayor Sarno states, “Even though the risk of West Nile virus remains low, HHS Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris and I feel that it is important to share with our residents that there was a mosquito that tested positive for the virus.  We want to encourage residents to be mindful and take the proper precautions when out in the evening hours when mosquitoes are most active.  Proper clothing, EPA-approved bug spray and removing any container that might hold standing water will all help to reduce the risk and spread of mosquitoes.” 

The Springfield Department of Health and Human Services recommends the following tips to avoid getting bit by mosquitoes:

  • Avoid spending extended periods of time outdoors from dusk to dawn – the time when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear long clothing to keep mosquitoes away from your skin
  • Use EPA-approved insect repellents.
  • Make sure screens in windows and doors fit properly and there are no holes.
  • Regularly empty out and clean bird baths, unused flower pots, and other containers that may keep standing water to prevent mosquitoes from breeding. 
  • Regularly clean out gutters
Page last updated:  Tuesday, March 1, 2022 01:32 pm