Take Precautions But Don't Panic Over EEE Threat
Sep 05, 2019 09:16AM
By Brian Choquet
written by Brian Choquet, Contributing Writer
Critical levels of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in nearby towns have put Bellingham residents at moderate risk of being exposed to the deadly virus. While this is a cause for concern, it's not a reason to panic.
While there has been no indication of EEE in Bellingham, five confirmed cases in mosquitoes – the primary vehicle of the virus – have been found in Uxbridge and neighboring Mendon. The two towns also have two of the nine confirmed cases of the virus in animals.
Both towns are at “critical risk levels” according to Massachusetts’ Department of Public Health. Bellingham also neighbors three towns considered to be at a “high-risk level” of the virus: Hopedale, Milford and Medway.
Four cases of EEE in humans have been found in the state, but none have been confirmed in Norfolk County.
Until threat levels normalize, spraying will take place every Monday, according to Bruce Wilson Jr. of Bellingham’s Board of Health. He admits that the urgency of the situation left little time to notify townspeople, but assures people that there is no danger from being outside while spraying goes on.
To help protect yourself from mosquitos, Wilson recommends wearing long sleeves and pants, applying bug spray while outside and staying inside at night. There is no definitive date when the threat will end, but Wilson says mosquitos will go into hibernation when temperatures dip into the 50’s.