SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Summer is winding down but the threat of Eastern Equine Encephalitis is greater than ever.
Several local communities have risk levels that range from moderate to critical. As the summer continues so does the risk for EEE.
Currently, in Massachusetts, there are 28 communities at critical risk, 37 are at high risk and 126 at moderate risk. Granby was raised to critical risk on Thursday after a horse tested positive for the mosquito-borne virus.
Another town recently affected is Agawam. They announced they are at moderate risk on Thursday after a mosquito sample tested positive for EEE.
One of the prevention methods the Agawam Health Department recommends is to stay indoors during peak mosquito hours between dusk and dawn. 22News went to School Street Park in Agawam to see how residents are protecting themselves from the virus.
“I like to play disc golf and I’m outside all the time and a lot of our courses are in the woods, bring spray and make sure every part is covered and like anything else you just need to be aware,” said Kathleen Auer, an Agawam health agent.
Auer explained to 22News how the virus is spread, “It’s spread by birds mostly they are bird biting species of mosquitoes, the birds don’t necessarily get sick, but they are a reservoir for the virus.”
Auer added that the right temperature and rainfall can create more mosquito breeding pools.
The peak season for EEE is the month of September but the risk is expected to die down by the beginning of October.