Mosquito - EEE Information


Current Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV) Information in Massachusetts

10/5/2020

MDPH will conclude mosquito testing and surveillance on 10/9/2020 due to low vector population and declining temperatures.. Risk of mosquito-borne virus remains until the first hard frost.  Fortunately Ashland has stayed at Low risk for EEE and West Nile Virus throughout this season. You can see the latest Arbovirus Surveillance Report from Mass. Department of Public Health here.

9/21/2020

The Mass. Department of Public Health confirmed a fifth human case of EEE in Massachusetts this season; this case was contracted in Plymouth County. The number of West Nile Virus cases remains at eight  The weekly arbovirus surveillance report can be found HERE. Currently, there are four communities in Massachusetts that are at Critical risk for EEE, they are: Middleborough, Carver, Halifax and Wilbraham. Ashland remains at Low risk for EEE and West Nile Virus. Please see the Risk Map HERE. Residents are reminded that, until we reach a "hard frost", the risk of contracting a mosquito-borne virus remains. You may reduce your risk by avoiding scheduling outdoor activities between the hours of dusk through dawn; wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and using a mosquito repellant containing DEET. You can find additional information on the State's mosquito fact sheet HERE.

9/10/2020

The Mass. Department of Public Health (MDPH) reported four new confirmed cases of West Nile Virus; three in Middlesex County, one in Bristol County, for a total of seven WNV cases in 2020. MDPH raised the WNV risk level to MODERATE in Concord, Lexington, Lincoln, Sudbury, Waltham, Wayland, Weston, Winchester, Dighton, Fall River and Swansea.  The WNV risk level was changed to HIGH in  Cambridge, Newton, Somerville and Watertown.

9/8/2020

The Mass. Department of Public Health has confirmed the fourth person in the State to have contracted Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus in Massachusetts this year. The case was contracted in Plymouth County, prompting the State to raise the risk level to High in the Town of Plymouth.  Across the State, there are now four communities at Critical risk, 10 at High risk, and 18 at Moderate risk for the virus.  Ashland remains at Low risk. You can see the Risk Map at this link HERE.  To date, MDPH has identified 65 EEE mosquito samples in 2020.  Find the latest Weekly Arbovirus Surveillance Report HERE.

It is likely that 2019 was the first year of a two to three-year EEE outbreak cycle.   The Board of Health invited Timothy Deschamps, Director of Central Mass Mosquito Control Project, to discuss CMMCP's proactive efforts to mitigate some of the risk in 2020. You can find the clip which includes his discussion at the Board of Health meeting HERE 

Please continue to follow these steps to protect yourself and your family from the EEE virus. 

  • Use insect repellents containing  any time you are outdoors
  • Wear long-sleeved clothing when you are outdoors
  • Schedule outdoor activities to avoid the hours from dusk to dawn during peak mosquito season
  • Repair damaged window and door screens
  • Remove standing water from the areas around your home

8/31/2020

There have been three reported cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), and three cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Massachusetts this season.  Ashland is currently at Low Risk for both EEE and WNV.  There are four communities currently at Critical Risk, they are in Plymouth and Hampden Counties.  

EEE is a rare but serious and potentially fatal disease that can affect people of all ages.  In 2019, there were 12 human cases of EEE in Massachusetts with six deaths. The most effective way to prevent infection from ­Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus is to prevent mosquito bites by using mosquito repellent, wearing long sleeve shirts and pants, and avoiding outdoor activity between the hours of dusk and dawn in the highest risk areas. Find additional mosquito virus prevention guidance on the CDC webpage  HERE.

Find the latest Weekly Arbovirus Surveillance Program Report from MDPH HERE.

8/29/2020

On August 28, 2020, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) announced the second and third human cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) in the state this year. Both individuals were exposed to WNV in Middlesex County, an area already known to be at risk for the virus.  Most WNV virus activity this year has been focused in parts of Norfolk, Middlesex and Essex counties. The risk of human infection with WNV is considered to be generally low throughout most of the Commonwealth. 

In 2019, there were five human cases of WNV infection identified in Massachusetts. WNV is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people infected with WNV will have symptoms. When present, WNV symptoms tend to include fever and flu-like illness; in rare cases, illness can be more severe.

All residents are reminded to use mosquito repellent any time they are outside, and those in high and critical risk communities are advised to schedule their outdoor activity to avoid the dusk to dawn hours to reduce exposure to the mosquitoes most likely to spread West Nile Virus and EEE.

8/24/2020

Mass. Department of Public Health (MDPH) has detected the third human case of EEE this season on 8/19/2020, occurring in Plymouth County.  The risk level was increased to Critical in the town of Halifax, there are now four municipalities in the Critical risk category. Ashland remains at Low risk. You can see the Risk Map at this link HERE.

MDPH continues to work with the local health departments and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources to coordinate mosquito surveillance and appropriate public health response activities.

If you have not already done so, please sign up HERE for Code Red, the reverse 9-1-1 Notification System.  Please call 508-881-0100 x 7128 if you need assistance.

How common is EEE in Massachusetts?  EEE is a very rare disease.  Since the virus was first identified in Massachusetts in 1938, just over 110 cases have occurred. The majority of cases typically have been from Bristol, Plymouth, and Norfolk counties. However, in an active year human cases can occur throughout the state. Outbreaks of EEE usually occur in Massachusetts every 10-20 years. These outbreaks will typically last two to three years. The most recent outbreak of EEE in Massachusetts began in 2019 and included twelve cases with six fatalities.

All residents are reminded to use mosquito repellent any time they are outside, and those in high and critical risk communities are advised to schedule their outdoor activity to avoid the dusk to dawn hours to reduce exposure to the mosquitoes most likely to spread EEE.

8/17/2020

Mass. Department of Public Health (MDPH) has detected the second human case of EEE this season, residing in Hampden County with an onset date of 8/1/20. Risk levels have been increased throughout Hampden County. To date, MDPH has identified 64 isolations of EEE in mosquito samples. MDPH will continue enhanced EEE surveillance activities in Franklin, Hampden, Middlesex and Plymouth counties. 2019 was likely the first year of a two to three-year EEE outbreak cycle. West Nile virus positive mosquitoes have been detected in Bristol, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth and Suffolk Counties. The first WNV human case was identified on 8/7/20. Risk levels have been raised in these regions.  Ashland remains at Low Risk at this time.

Protect yourself from illness by doing simple things:

  • Use insect repellents any time you are outdoors
  • Wear long-sleeved clothing when you are outdoors
  • Schedule outdoor activities to avoid the hours from dusk to dawn during peak mosquito season
  • Repair damaged window and door screens
  • Remove standing water from the areas around your home

Please use the following link to access the latest Massachusetts Arbovirus update:  https://www.mass.gov/info-details/massachusetts-arbovirus-update#eee-risk-map-

To be informed prior to any aerial spraying conducted in Ashland, as well as to any emergency situations or critical alerts, residents may sign up to receive phone or test messages via Code Red (Reverse 9-1-1) through the following link: https://public.coderedweb.com/CNE/en-US/BF74D35316B3. If you need assistance, please call 508-881-0100 x 7128.

8/7/2020

Mass. Department of Public Health (MDPH) has reported the first human case of 2020 of WNV from Middlesex County on 8/7/2020.  The onset of illness was 8/2/2020 with a presentation of headache and stiff neck.  The case has recovered. The following cities and towns had WNV positive mosquito samples. Arlington, Belmont, Boston, Brookline, Medford, Middleborough, Needham, Newton, and Watertown. Please click on this link to access risk maps updated with today's positive results:  www.mass.gov/info-details/massachusetts-arbovirus-update  

8/3/2020

MDPH has reported the first human case of 2020 of EEE from Plymouth County and EEE positive mosquito samples have been detected in Franklin, Middlesex and Plymouth Counties. Risk levels have been increased in these regions.  Please check back throughout the season to view risk levels and  findings of EEE and WNV.  

See the latest MDPH Arbovirus Surveillance Program Report HERE.  

Routine mosquito testing began on 6/15/2020 and will continue through October. The Department of Public Health in partnership with Local Mosquito Control Projects will conduct comprehensive surveillance activities state-wide to assess the risk of West Nile Virus (WNV) and EEE in 2020. Risk maps and EEE and WNV detections will be routinely updated. 

At this time, Ashland remains at low risk for both EEE and WNV.  Residents should take personal preventative actions like using repellents and avoiding peak mosquito activity.

Learn about EEE

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is a rare but serious disease caused by a virus that can affect people of all ages. EEE is generally spread to humans through the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus.  EEE can cause severe illness and possibly lead to death in any age group; however, people under age 15 are at particular risk.  EEE does not occur every year, but based on a mosquito sampling, a high risk of occurrence of human cases currently exists.  Learn more about EEE and how to protect yourself in this fact sheet HERE.

Central Mass. Mosquito Control Program

The Town of Ashland is a member community of the Central Mass. Mosquito Control Project (CMMCP), a state agency providing services to 44 cities and towns in Middlesex and Worcester counties, offering a full-service, year-round program of mosquito control services.        

A property owner may request CMMCP to spray their property by calling the CMMCP office at 508-393-3055..  Properties that do not request service will not be sprayed. Please use this link to exclude your property from spraying or any part of the program: www.cmmcp.org/pesticideinformation/pages/pesticide-exclusion.

Please note that exclusions expire at the end of the calendar year, and must be renewed annually.

To find out which streets are being sprayed on a scheduled date, residents may check the CMMCP website after 3:30 PM at www.cmmcp.org/home/pages/2020-spray-schedules or call the CMMCP phone system at 508-393-3055. Press 0.

CMMCP has made great strides over the years to reduce dependency on spraying with eight key services.  These services, mostly proactive and occur before mosquitoes have hatched from their larval habitat, include: Mosquito Surveillance, Public Education, Ditch Maintenance, Larval Mosquito Control Source Reduction, Beaver Control and Mitigation, Adult Mosquito Control (Spraying), and Research and Efficacy. Learn more about CMMCP and their services HERE.

Central Mass Mosquito Control Project personnel will be in Ashland to respond to residents' concerns about mosquitoes in their area on the following dates:  August 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31.

Protect Yourself and Your Family From EEE and Lyme Disease

This summer, protect yourself from mosquitoes and ticks. Their bites can cause serious illnesses, like EEE and Lyme Disease. When outdoors, use EPA approved repellent and wear protective clothing.  Repair broken doors and window screens with holes. Watch this short video here.  Learn more about tick-borne disease prevention HERE.  

Please see the link below for a presentation by Timothy Deschamps of Central Mass Mosquito Control Program during a recent Board of Health Meeting:

https://vimeo.com/392568870

Please see the link below to learn about EEE and West Nile Virus in Horses. Vaccines are available, contact your veterinarian.

Protect Your Horse