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Braintree to increase mosquito spraying after EEE finding

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  August 8, 2012 03:00 PM

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Braintree officials will intensify the ground spraying for mosquitoes after a mosquito containing eastern equine encephalitis virus was found in a sample collected in the town on Aug. 1.

According to officials, the town’s risk level remains low; however, as a precaution, the Norfolk County Mosquito Control District will be intensifying its spraying efforts.

According to the district homepage, spraying in Braintree occurs on Thursdays between 2 a.m. and sunrise. That will continue, however the amount of spraying will intensify, officials said.

"The type of positive mosquito found is a bird biting mosquito. The level is still listed as low so Mayor Joseph Sullivan is just sending out the info to remind residents to take preventative measures…and just look around their properties," said Marybeth McGrath, director of the Braintree Board of Health. "This is a message they have been relaying through the season, they just wanted to remind residents."

In addition to the spraying, residents are reminded to practice personal protection measures, such as the use of bug repellent, wearing long-sleeved clothing, and staying indoors during peak mosquito hours – from dusk until dawn.

“The Massachusetts Department of Public Health will continue to monitor the risk of EEE as mosquito trapping and testing occurs throughout the region this season,” a release said.

According to a release sent by the town, there have been no human cases of EEE or West Nile Virus this year.

Last year, two cases of EEE were reported in Massachusetts in August, two of which were fatal.

The increase of EEE activity in both 2010 and 2011 prompted the Department of Public Health to help evaluate and enhance the state’s surveillance and response to the disease, which is serious in all ages and can even cause death.

“People have an important role to play in protecting themselves and their loved ones from illnesses caused by mosquitoes,” the release said.

Tips for avoiding mosquitos, courtesy of the Town of Braintree:

- Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535 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% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.

- 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.

- Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wearing long sleeved shirts, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.

- Mosquito-proof your home by draining standing water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or discarding 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. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly fitting screens on all of windows and doors.

More information, including all WNV and EEE positive results from 2012, can be found on the Arbovirus Surveillance Information web page at www.mass.gov/dph/wnv or by calling the DPH Epidemiology Program at 617-983-6800.

Information about the ground spraying schedule for Braintree can be found on the Norfolk County Mosquito Control District website at www.norfolkcountymosquito.org or by calling the Braintree Health Department at 781-794-8090.

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