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Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV) both have been identified in Massachusetts, with several human and animal cases having been identified, according to Health Director Jeff Stephens.
As of Aug. 26, EEE positive mosquitos have been identified in Middlesex County, however, as of today, Sept. 3, no positive mosquitos have been found in Westford. As of Aug. 28, Westford’s risk level for WNV is low and our risk level for EEE is low according to the 2019 Massachusetts Arbovirus Daily Update.
While the risk is low, Health Department officials are closely monitoring the surveillance data every day to ensure the town is prepared to take appropriate action to reduce the risk of mosquito borne illness. On Aug. 29 the Health Department, School Department, Parks and Recreation, Highway Department and the Facilities Department met to discuss and prepare for an appropriate response to a change in the town’s risk level. At this time, Health Department officials are recommending the following tips to help you remain safe while enjoying outdoor activity:
- Residents should limit their time outdoors during peak periods of mosquito activity (dusk and dawn).
- Those out between dusk and dawn should wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants.
- Residents should use a mosquito repellent that contains DEET or Picaridin. Oil of lemon eucalyptus may also be considered. Always follow the directions on the label.
- The arms and legs of children playing outdoors should be covered. A baby’s carriage or playpen should be covered with mosquito netting.
- Homeowners should fix any holes in their screens and make sure they are tightly attached to all doors and windows.
- Standing pools of water around the home should be removed. Mosquitoes will breed in any puddle or standing water that lasts for more than four days. Homeowners should make sure water does not collect and stagnate in ceramic pots, trash cans, recycling containers, old tires, wading pools, bird baths, etc.
- Homeowners can remove leaves and debris that may prevent drainage of roof gutters.
Residents wanting to have their property treated for mosquitos may contact cmmcp.org