FRAMINGHAM (CBS) — As the risk for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) continues to climb in several cities and towns, schools in these areas are moving sports practices up to make sure students aren’t outside during peak mosquito hours.
Paul Spear overseas the athletic department at Framingham High School, and says as a precaution, all students must be inside by 7:30 p.m.READ MORE: Police Investigating After Body Found In Leominster
“We’re ending practices early,” he said. “We’re making sure our kids are aware that they should have insect repellent.”
The sports fields are just steps away from a river and swamp – the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.
The city’s public health director, Dr. Sam Wong, says Wednesday’s torrential downpours didn’t help either. The rain created stagnant water near people’s homes, which could make the spread of EEE even worse.
“Clear out any standing water that might breed mosquitoes,” Dr. Wong said.READ MORE: 'Disturbing': Maine 2-Year-Old Shoots Parents After Finding Gun On Nightstand
A single bite from a mosquito infected by EEE can trigger a headache, stiff neck and a fever, to more serious symptoms – like swelling of the brain.
“It’s kind of scary to know a small little insect like that can have the potential to make you as sick as you can be,” Spear said.
He added that even though Framingham is in a high risk EEE zone, Spear wants to maintain some type of normalcy for students as they return back to school.
“You just can’t be paralyzed by fear of what might happen,” he said. “You can take the proper precautions and try to live your life normally.”MORE NEWS: US Advisers Endorse Pfizer COVID Shot For Kids 12 And Up
The risk for EEE isn’t over until the first hard frost.