The Massachusetts Department of Public Health stated in a press release on Wednesday that Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) was found in mosquitoes in Easton. Though Mansfield was deemed to be a moderate risk zone by the MDPH, town officials said they're taking the threat as a high-risk problem.
Mansfield town manager William Ross said Mansfield Health Agent Scott Leite is taking high-risk area precautions for the threat. The mosquitoes were found near the Raynham-Taunton Border in Easton.
“But we all know mosquitoes can moves,” he said.
The release from the MDPH said that in four pools of mosquito collectors, there were some mosquitoes tested positive for the virus. Leite’s statement added that this is very early in the season for such a result.
“This is highly unprecedented,” Ross said.
MDPH state epidemiologist Dr. Al DeMaria agreed, stating in a press release that “[Wednesday] is our first indication this year that EEE is circulating in our environment, and it’s circulating early,” said DPH State Epidemiologist Dr. Al DeMaria “This is also an important reminder for individuals to take simple, common-sense steps to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes.”
The best thing to do, according to Leite, is to take common sense approaches to avoiding mosquito bites.
“People need to do as best as they can to avoid going into areas that have a high concentration of mosquitoes,” Ross said.
Wearing insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, draining standing water and making sure screens are in good repair are some of the ways Leite stated to help avoid getting bitten.
Ross said that the Bristol County Mosquito Control Project will be helping town buildings, areas and schools by spraying insecticide. Residents can make a spray request by clicking here, and the entire street will be sprayed as well.