County Woman Confirmed To Have West Nile

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — An elderly woman is hospitalized after contracting West Nile Virus - the first confirmed case in the county.

The state Department of Public Health announced on Friday that the woman in her 70s will be released from the hospital soon but the finding raising the risk level for the city from moderate to high. The risk levels in Dalton, Hancock, Lanesborough, Lenox, Richmond and Washington have been raised to moderate.

The virus as well as Equine Encephalitis were both confirmed in mosquitos throughout the county. The city has been adulticide spraying to reduce the population. In the eastern part of the state the threat of EEE is considered "critical."

The best way to avoid contracting the viruses to avoid or eliminate mosquitos. Basic tips include:

• Take precautions, especially, during the peak biting times of dusk and dawn by wearing long-sleeves, pants and socks when outdoors; apply repellent.

• Drain or get rid of items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently. Use larvicide where appropriate.

• Make sure screens are tight fitting on doors and windows.


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