BOSTON (CBS) — The state will be spraying for mosquitoes in areas of southeastern Massachusetts beginning Monday, just after the state’s first human case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis was announced earlier in the week.
The spraying will target 25 towns in Plymouth and Bristol counties after 12 towns in the area have been found to be at moderate to critical risk for Eastern Equine Encephalitis. The towns to be sprayed are Bridgewater, Carver, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Kingston, Lakeville, Marion, Mattapoisett, Middleborough, Norwell, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Rochester, Rockland, Wareham, West Bridgewater, Whitman, Acushnet, Easton, Raynham and Taunton. Spraying will continue over several evenings.
On Aug. 3, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced this year’s first human case of EEE, a boy who was exposed to EEE in Plymouth County. Last year, the state experienced its most active EEE season since 1956, with 12 human cases and six deaths.
“EEE is rare, but it is a serious medical illness, and we remind residents of the need to protect themselves from mosquito bites as EEE activity increases,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “The best prevention continues to be using mosquito repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, weather permitting, and avoiding outdoor activity between the hours of dusk and dawn in the highest risk areas.”
The pesticide to be used is called Anvil 10+10, an EPA-registered product. There are no health risks expected during or after spraying. According to the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) and State Reclamation and Mosquito Control Board (SRMCB), which will be conducting the spraying, no special precautions are recommended. Residents can reduce exposure by staying indoors and keeping pets indoors during spraying.
On Monday, a detailed spray map will be posted on the MDAR website.