EEE virus still threat until first hard frost

Hampshire County

EASTHAMPTON, Mass (WWLP) – The Easthampton Health Department is reminding the public that Eastern Equine Encephalitis is still a threat until the first hard frost.

Although most areas of western Massachusetts are at moderate risk for the virus some areas remain at high risk including Westfield, Southwick, Agawam, Springfield, and West Springfield.

View the current risk levels here.

According to the Easthampton Health Department, it’s important to remember the virus is still a serious concern between the hours of dusk and dawn and that the virus doesn’t stop at town lines.

Just a week ago a Hampden County woman in her 70s was infected with the virus, making it the 12th human case of EEE in Massachusetts. That woman was hospitalized. 

Here are some precautions residents should be taking:

  • Avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellent when outdoors, specifically one with an EPA-registered ingredient such as DEET
  • Be aware of peak mosquito hours (dusk to dawn)
  • Wearing long sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors can help keep mosquitos away from the skin
  • Avoid having standing water in your home by emptying drain gutters, drains, unused flowerpots, wading pools and change the water in birdbaths
  • Make sure your windows and doors have tightly fitted screens
  • Protect your animals and use mosquito repellents that are safe for your pets

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