State health officials are warning residents in three Southeastern Massachusetts towns of an elevated risk of Eastern equine encephalitis infection after human-biting mosquitoes with the virus were detected in two of the communities.
Officials said Tuesday that the infected mosquitoes were found in Carver and Kingston, prompting officials to raise the risk level to high in Carver, because similar mosquitoes were detected there earlier this summer. The risk was raised to moderate in Kingston because it was the first batch of human-biting mosquitoes with the virus, often known as EEE, detected there this season.
Officials said the risk was raised to moderate in Plymouth because it is a neighbor of both towns.
Health officials also strongly recommended that Carver and other communities designated as high risk curtail outdoor evening events for the remainder of the mosquito season, which typically ends at the first hard frost. Ground-based spraying by mosquito control agencies is ongoing in all three communities and will be enhanced.
Carver and Kingston were among 21 Southeastern Massachusetts communities blanketed with pesticide during aerial spraying last month.
“This has been an exceptionally active summer for EEE activity in mosquitoes in Southeastern Massachusetts, and today’s announcement only underlines the importance of personal protective measures against mosquito bites,” Dr. Al DeMaria, the state’s top disease tracker, said in a statement Tuesday. “Use insect repellent, cover up exposed skin, and avoid outdoor activities at dusk and nighttime, when mosquitoes are at their most active.”
There has been one confirmed human case of EEE in a Massachusetts resident this year, a Metrowest resident thought to have contracted the disease while traveling out of state.