CARVER (CBS) — State officials have raised the risk level for Eastern Equine Encephalitis to high in Carver and Middleboro after more mosquitoes tested positive for the virus.
Carver is now banning outside activities at parks, playgrounds and beaches from dusk to dawn beginning Saturday.
“The mosquito surveillance results indicate that the virus activity has increased in one area in southeastern Massachusetts,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “We want people to be aware that the EEE virus is present in mosquitoes in the area and are encouraging residents to take steps to avoid mosquito bites.”
The risk level was also raised to moderate in Plympton, Orange, Athol, Wendell and New Salem.
There have been no human cases of EEE in Massachusetts this year. There were 12 in 2019 and six people died.
“We always take EEE very seriously,” said DPH State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown. “It is important for residents to know that in communities at high risk for EEE, we encourage use of mosquito repellent and scheduling outdoor events to avoid the hours between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes most likely to spread EEE are most active.”
To prevent EEE, the state recommends using bug spray when you are outside, wearing long sleeves, avoiding being outside from dusk to dawn, repairing damaged screens in your home and removing standing water from around your home.
The state has information about preventing mosquito- and tick-borne illnesses on its website.