EEE can cause swelling of the brain and kills about 30 percent of those infected, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those who survive often have long-term, progressive neurological difficulties.
“Today’s news is evidence of the significant risk from EEE and we are asking residents to take this risk very seriously,” Dr. Monica Bharel, the state’s commissioner of public health, said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor this situation and the impacted communities.”
The cities and towns considered at critical risk are Acushnet, Carver, Freetown, Lakeville, Marion, Middleborough, New Bedford, Rochester, and Wareham.
Another 15 Southeastern Massachusetts communities are considered to be at high risk, officials said, and 18 more towns and cities are at moderate risk.
In Carver, town officials have banned outdoor activities from dusk to dawn for more than two weeks out of concern about EEE.
“We did that immediately, as soon as the announcement was made . . . that we were at moderate risk,” Arthur F. Borden, chairman of the Carver Board of Health, said by phone Saturday. “We haven’t had to do that since the last go-’round with triple-E.”
Borden said that in conversations with Carver residents and exchanges on social media, he has heard about a great deal of mosquito activity in town this summer.
“Everybody seems to have the same complaint: They can’t go outside a couple of minutes without mosquitoes all over them,” he said.
Kirby Gilmore, town moderator for Rochester, said he hasn’t seen excessive mosquito activity there yet, but after wet weather earlier in the summer, he is bracing for an uptick.
“The months of August and September, that’s the time that this particular species of mosquito is usually a problem, not earlier in the summer,” Gilmore said. “Those are months we have to be cognizant and careful.”
Gilmore said he could recall one human case of EEE in Rochester, many years back.
On Tuesday, state officials announced that areas of Plymouth and Bristol counties would be aerially sprayed to control the mosquito population. That spraying was expected to continue through the weekend, in the evenings and overnight.
Residents in the critical risk areas should still use mosquito repellent and consider staying indoors between dusk and dawn to reduce mosquito exposure, officials said.
Everyone, regardless of where they live, can help protect themselves from mosquito-borne illnesses by using insect repellents containing the ingredients …read more
Source:: Daily Times