No doubt you’ve heard that several mosquitoes have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in the southeastern part of our state. Now Southborough emergency officials are urging residents to take caution. Here’s what they have to say:
The Southborough Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) is issuing a warning to residents to take steps to protect themselves against mosquito-borne viruses.
A growing number of mosquitoes testing positive for eastern equine encephalitis (commonly know as EEE) have been located within various communities throughout Southeastern Massachusetts. There is increased concern by health officials of a larger-spread and longer threat season, as it is very early in the season to find EEE infected mosquitoes. The threat of mosquito-borne viruses usually lasts until the first frost/freeze.
While mosquitoes testing positive with EEE have only been located in Southern Massachusetts at this time, EEE infected mosquitoes are likely to spread to other areas of the State. In 2011, EEE infected mosquitoes (as well as mosquitoes infected with the West Nile virus) were found in Auburn, Shrewsbury and Westborough.
SEMA strongly recommends that residents take precautions when outdoors and limit outside activities during dusk and in swampy/wooded areas, common times and environments with mosquito activity. Specific preventive measures include:
- Applying repellents that contain DEET on those for whom it is safe. Read product labels carefully for restrictions;
- Whenever possible, avoid outdoor activities at dawn and dusk;
- Rid your surroundings of any standing water (tires, pools, barrels, etc.);
- Use mosquito nets on baby carriages;
- Make sure that all your screens are in good repair and that all openings to the outside are equipped with screens or kept closed;
- Wear long sleeves and pants (light colors are better than dark colors or black);
- Do not allow standing water to remain in small pools and outdoor containers.
To learn more about the health effects of humans, prevention and updated confirmed infected areas/communities on Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and/or West Nile virus visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health at http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/.