The state has raised the risk of West Nile Virus infection from "low" to "moderate" in 17 Berkshire County communities.

The Berkshire Eagle reports the communities are Adams, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Dalton, Florida, Hancock, Lanesborough, Lee, Lenox, New Ashford, North Adams, Pittsfield, Richmond, Stockbridge, Washington, West Stockbridge, and Williamstown.

Moderate risk means "infection with WNV is likely or has already occurred," according to the state.

At this level, the Department of Public Health recommends people wear mosquito repellent, wear long sleeves and long pants when the weather permits, use mosquito netting on baby carriages and playpens and dump standing water twice weekly.

For any community experiencing a moderate risk of West Nile infection, the Department of Public Health encourages town officials to consider some form of "ground-based adult mosquito control," usually spraying an insecticide and increasing public outreach around awareness and prevention.

In the Berkshires, municipalities have had different responses to the presence of mosquito-borne diseases.

West Nile Virus reaches humans when a mosquito that bit an infected bird bites a person.

There are four levels of West Nile Virus risk in Massachusetts: low, moderate, high and critical. Nowhere in the state is the risk level above moderate as of July 28, the most recent information available from the state Public Health Laboratory.


More From WNAW AM