The EEE Virus has been detected in mosquitoes collected in a trap on the east side of town off Haverhill Street, the Reading Health Department announced in a press release Thursday.
The state Department of Public Health reported the finding on Thursday, the Health Department said in the release.
According to the release, "EEE is a rare but serious illness spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. While EEE can infect people of all ages, people under 15 years of age or over 50 years of age are at greatest risk for serious illness."
On Aug. 13 and 14, the Eastern Middlesex Mosquito Control Project will spray the entire town. To find out which night your area will be sprayed check the town's website.
The spray contains a pesticide to control mosquitoes, but it does not put people or pets at risk. However, it is still suggested to allow minimum exposure to the spray. If you see a truck, go inside with your pets and close your windows for several minutes.
All catchbasins in Reading will be treated with a peticide to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes in those environments.
The Reading Health Department recommends the following tips and steps that can be taken to reduce the chance of infection:
Avoid Mosquito Bites
- Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours - The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning. If you are outdoors at any time and notice mosquitoes around you, take steps to avoid being bitten by moving indoors, covering up and/or wearing repellant.
- Clothing Can Help reduce mosquito bites. Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
- Apply Insect Repellent when you go outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] according to the instructions 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 percent 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.
Mosquito-Proof Your Home
- Drain Standing Water – Many mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or getting rid of items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently.
- Install or Repair Screens - Some mosquitoes like to come indoors. Keep them outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.
If residents have any questions about mosquitoes or how to control them, contact the East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project at 781-899-5730 or visit their website.