Third Human Case of EEE Confirmed in Massachusetts
A young Massachusetts female is currently in the hospital due to EEE.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) confirmed the third human case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in a Massachusetts female, under the age of 18. According to a recent press release, she is in the hospital after being diagnosed earlier this month.
The EEE threat level has been raised in both Franklin and Worcester County. The towns within those counties that have been raised to high risk are asked to cancel outdoor events until the first hard frost, the press release said.
“Any diagnosis of EEE is concerning – but especially so when it involves a young person,” said DPH Commissioner John Auerbach in a release. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her parents and family. In the meantime, this is a compelling reminder that we all need to continue to be vigilant in protecting ourselves and our families against mosquito bites and the very serious illnesses they can cause.”
The EEE virus was found in a Reading mosquito in early August. The entire town was sprayed with a pesticide to control mosquitoes shortly after it was found. In late August, a mosquito with EEE was found in North Reading, the town also sprayed.
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 repellent.
- 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.