For Immediate Release - August 04, 2010

High Winds Cause State Health Officials to Postpone Tonight's Scheduled EEE Aerial Spraying in Southeastern Massachusetts

Media Advisory

BOSTON - August 4, 2010 - Due to predicted heavy winds for this evening, all scheduled eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) aerial spraying flights in Southeastern Massachusetts have been postponed. Aerial spraying is tentatively planned for tomorrow night, again weather permitting. Please continue to check the DPH website for information and updates on EEE and aerial spraying schedules at www.mass.gov/dph. Residents can also call the 2-1-1 information line for updates and additional details about EEE.

State public health officials, working in conjunction with several other agencies and local public health partners, made the decision to conduct aerial spraying in Southeastern Massachusetts following continued positive tests for EEE in mosquito samples from that part of the state, and have characterized the risk of EEE infection as a serious public health concern at this time.

In addition to updating the public regarding when aerial spraying will take place, DPH recommends these important steps to avoid mosquito bites.

Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours.

  • The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning.
  • Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
  • Apply Insect Repellent When Outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD) or IR3535 according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30 percent or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.

Mosquito-Proof Your Home

  • Drain Standing Water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently.
  • Install or Repair Screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

More information about EEE and EEE risk is available on the DPH website at www.mass.gov/dph. Information about West Nile Virus (WNV) and EEE is also available by calling the DPH recorded information line at 1-866-MASS-WNV (1-866-627-7968) or the Epidemiology Program at 617-983-6800.