BOSTON (CBS/AP) — State health officials plan to begin aerial spraying for mosquitoes in nearly a dozen southeastern Massachusetts communities.

The decision comes after a number of mosquito samples collected in the region in recent days tested positive for Eastern equine encephalitis, a potentially deadly disease for humans.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports

The state Department of Public Health says aerial spraying will begin “as soon as possible” in the following communities: Bridgewater, Carver, Easton, Halifax, Lakeville, Middleborough, Norton, Plympton, Raynham, Taunton, and West Bridgewater.

An exact timetable was not given.

Officials say people should continue to take as many precautions as possible against mosquito bites.

There have been no human cases of EEE or West Nile virus in Massachusetts so far this year. There were two cases of EEE last summer, and one was fatal.

Raynham Selectman Joseph Pacheco is a family friend of Martin Newfield, the popular 80-year-old Raynham native who died of EEE last year.

He says he’s happy the state is now pulling the trigger on aerial spraying, but he feels it should have been done last week. He says, “I think it’s an appropriate response to a disease that’s proven capable of taking a life.”

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager contributed to this report.
(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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