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Family Of EEE Victim Wants More Proactive Mosquito Control

By Christina Hager, WBZ-TV
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Martin Newfield, 80, died after contracting Triple-E from a mosquito.

Martin Newfield, 80, died after contracting Triple-E from a mosquito.

WBZ-TV's Christina Hager Christina Hager
Award-winning reporter Christina Hager works as a general assignmen...
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RAYNHAM (CBS) – The family of the latest Triple E victim wants the state of Massachusetts to be more proactive about controlling mosquitoes.

“The week that my family just went through, you could never imagine the things that I’ve seen, the heartache that we’ve been through,” says Keith Fahey.

Fahey’s stepfather, Martin Newfield, died of Triple E this week. He was the first reported human case this year.

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports.

Tuesday night in Newfield’s hometown of Raynham, the board of selectmen voted to ask the state to aerial spray. Even though the town has been repeatedly sprayed from trucks, the town health director said the state denied his request for aerial spraying earlier this summer.

In a written statement, the Department of Public Health explained their decision:

“Once a region’s risk level is raised from ‘High’ to ‘Critical’. Aerial spraying may be considered…the Raynham area remains at a ‘High’ risk.”

“Seems to me they just wait for something tragic to unfold, and that’s not good enough for me,” said Fahey. “You’re playing Russian roulette not knowing is the mosquito that just bit my child carrying that virus.”

Experts said that since the temperature has dropped, it’s probably too late to spray from the air this year. The head of Bristol County Mosquito Control said he’d like the state to start spraying earlier in the southeastern part of the state, since it has been established as a “hot zone” for Triple E and West Nile Virus.

Raynham has set a 4:00 p.m. curfew for all town-sponsored outdoor activities.

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