WILBRAHAM, Mass. (WWLP) – The Eastern Hampden Public Health Services announced that Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) has been detected in mosquitoes in Wilbraham.
Mosquito samples that tested positive for EEE were collected on Thursday, September 21st in the northwest part of Wilbraham. Due to this, the EEE risk level is moderate in the Town, according to Regional Public Health Nurse Ashley Boudreau.
EEE was first detected in the state this year from mosquito samples that tested positive in Southbridge and Douglas on August 30th. The last time EEE was discovered in Massachusetts was in 2020. There have been no human or animal cases of EEE detected so far this year.
The EEE risk map has Springfield, Ludlow, East Longmeadow, Hampden, Monson, Palmer, Wales, Wilbraham, Charlton, Auburn, Milbury, Grafton, Upton, Northbridge, Uxbridge, Mendon, Milford, Millville, Blackstone, Hopedale, and Bellingham in moderate. High-risk level communities include Brimfield, Holland, Sturbridge, Southbridge, Dudley, Webster, Oxford, Sutton, and Douglas.
Symptoms of EEE include a fever, stiff neck, headache, and lack of energy. The disease gets worse quickly and some patients may go into a coma within a week.
EEE is a very rare disease and there is no treatment for EEE. In Massachusetts, about half of the people identified with EEE died from the infection. People who survive this disease will often be permanently disabled. Few people recover completely.
Tips to avoid mosquito bites:
- Avoid spending extended periods of time outdoors from dusk to dawn – the time when mosquitoes are most active.
- Wear long clothing to keep mosquitoes away from your skin
- Use EPA-approved insect repellents.
- Make sure screens in windows and doors fit properly and there are no holes.
- Regularly empty out and clean bird baths, unused flower pots, and other containers that may keep standing water to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
- Regularly clean out gutters
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