Residents should take precautions to prevent mosquito bites
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) announced the detection of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in mosquito samples from Sutton and Southbridge, increasing the EEE risk level to "high" in six communities: Douglas, Dudley, Oxford, Southbridge, Sutton, and Webster, and "moderate" in five others. This comes after earlier EEE-positive mosquito findings in Douglas and Southbridge. While no human or animal cases of EEE have been reported in Massachusetts in 2023, health officials emphasize the importance of preventive measures. EEE is a rare but severe disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. The peak mosquito activity occurs from dusk to dawn, taking precautions such as using mosquito repellent, wearing protective clothing, and eliminating standing water are crucial to reducing the risk. Animal owners are also advised to take measures to protect their animals from mosquito exposure.
More information, including all WNV and EEE positive results, can be found on the Arbovirus Surveillance Information web page at Mosquito-borne Diseases | Mass.gov, which is updated daily, or by calling the DPH Division of Epidemiology at 617-983-6800.