WORCESTER – Nearly 30 Worcester County communities will be sprayed starting tonight and over the course of the next week for mosquitoes in areas at critical and high risk for the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health [DPH] and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources [MDAR], the 29 cities and towns in Worcester County that will see aerial spraying include:
- West Boylston
There are 36 communities now at critical risk, 42 at high risk, and 115 at moderate risk for the EEE virus in Massachusetts.
A map of the state’s current EEE risk levels can be found below:
Several communities in Norfolk and Middlesex counties will also be sprayed this week.
“Even as temperatures cool, it’s vitally important for us to remember that mosquito season is not over and that we all need to continue to take steps to prevent mosquito bites,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “Use bug spray, wear long sleeves and pants to reduce exposed skin, and stay indoors from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active.”
So far this year, Massachusetts has had seven human cases of EEE, including one death. There have also been nine confirmed cases of EEE this year in animals, including eight horses and a goat.
“We continue to urge the public to protect themselves from this disease by using mosquito repellent and taking other precautions, and for those in high and critical risk areas, by rescheduling outdoor activities during evening hours,” said MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux. “In addition to these precautions, we will be conducting additional aerial spraying and supporting the use of truck-based ground spraying to reduce the numbers of infected adult mosquitoes left flying at this point in the season.”
In August, MDAR conducted aerial mosquito spraying in parts of Bristol, Plymouth, Middlesex, and Worcester counties to help reduce the public health risk.
The City of Worcester and other communities continue truck-mounted ground spraying for mosquitoes. Spraying for mosquitoes does not eliminate the risk of EEE transmission and the public is asked to continue to follow personal protection practices.
Residents can learn more about EEE and ways to protect themselves on DPH’s website here.
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