The state completed the third aerial spraying for the summer on the evening of Monday, August 20 in order to fend off harmful mosquitoes that could potentially be carrying the deadly EEE Virus as well as other illnesses. Monday’s spraying focused on the city of New Bedford’s North End.
The area was sprayed during the hours of 8:00 to 11:00 pm and all residents were urged to stay indoors, close their windows and keep pets inside during the process. The spraying was conducted a week after the city’s EEE Virus mosquito threat was elevated to “High.”
Since the beginning of the summer, there have been 110 EEE-positive mosquito pools found in southeastern Massachusetts. The majority of the virus-ridden insects have been detected in Easton. Fortunately, none have been detected in the Tri-Town region of Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester.
Last Monday, August 13, the second aerial spray of the summer was conducted in the towns of Bridgewater, Easton, Norton, Raynham, Taunton and West Bridgewater. At the end of July, Acushnet, Berkley, Bridgewater, Carver, Dighton, Easton, East Bridgewater, Freetown, Halifax, Hanson, Kingston, Lakeville, Middleboro, Norton, Pembroke, Plympton, Raynham, Rehoboth, Rochester, Taunton and West Bridgewater were all sprayed.
In each of the three sprayings, specialized aircrafts dispelled the pesticide Anvil over the area’s vegetation. The Massachusetts Department of Health has been keeping a close eye on potentially harmful mosquitoes all summer long. So far, there has only been one confirmed case of EEE found in a human being. The virus infected a man in Quincy and was not fatal. Two cases of EEE were found in Bristol County in 2011, one of which was fatal.
The DPH urges residents to wear a strong repellent as well as long sleeves and pants when partaking in outdoor activities after dusk during mosquito peak hours. As of now, there are no more scheduled sprayings, but the DPH will add more as necessary. For more information and an updated list of sprayings, visit www.mass.gov/dph.
By Katy Fitzpatrick