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 in Kingston, prompting them to raise the risk level to “high’’ in Carver, because similar disease-carrying mosquitoes were detected there earlier this summer. The risk was raised to “moderate’’ in Kingston, because this is the first batch of human-biting mosquitoes with the virus, commonly known as EEE, detected there this season.
Officials said the risk was raised to “moderate’’ in Plymouth because it neighbors 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 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 repellant, 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 eastern equine encephalitis in a Massachusetts resident this year, a Metrowest resident thought to have contracted the disease while traveling out of state.