News on EEE

 

The Edge Sports Center fields have been treated by Mosquito Squad on 9/10 to control the mosquito population. An additional treatment is scheduled for the week of 9/23. While this will not eliminate the risk of contracting EEE or other mosquito borne illnesses, it will greatly reduce the risk.

 

Please see below for relevant information on EEE.

 

Fact sheet about EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis)

 

What is Eastern Equine Encephalitis?

Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is a rare but serious disease caused by a virus.

How is the EEE virus spread?

The virus that causes EEE is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. In Massachusetts, the virus is most often identified in mosquitoes found in and around freshwater, hardwood swamps. More information about different types of mosquitoes that can spread the virus can be found on the Mosquito-borne Diseases website.

EEE virus particularly infects birds, often with no evidence of illness in the bird. Mosquitoes become infected when they bite infected birds.  Although humans and several other types of mammals, particularly horses and llamas, can become infected, they do not spread disease.

How common is EEE in Massachusetts?

EEE is a very rare disease. Since the virus was first identified in Massachusetts in 1938, fewer than 100 cases have occurred. Over 60% of those cases have been from Plymouth and Norfolk counties.

Outbreaks of EEE usually occur in Massachusetts every 10-20 years.  These outbreaks will typically last two to three years.  The most recent outbreak of EEE in Massachusetts began in 2010 and included nine cases with four fatalities through 2012.

What can you do to protect yourself from EEE?

Since the virus that causes EEE is spread by mosquitoes, here are some things you can do to reduce your chances of being bitten:

  • When you are outdoors, wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and socks. This may be difficult to do when the weather is hot, but it will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
  • Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), IR3535 (3-[N-butyl-N-acetyl]-aminopropionic acid) or oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-Menthane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] according to the instructions given on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age. Permethrin products are intended for use on items such as clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear and should not be applied to skin.
  • More information on choosing and using repellents safely is included in the MDPH Mosquito Repellents fact sheet. If you can’t go online, contact the MDPH at (617) 983-6800 for a hard copy.

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