In Massachusetts, there are several mosquito-borne viruses present that present a threat to human health or the health of domestic or wild animals. These insect-borne viruses (arboviruses), particularly Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEEv) and West Nile virus (WNV), have a history of causing disease outbreaks in our state. Efforts to reduce the risk of the arbovirus transmission that occurs through mosquitoes typically include routine treatment of adult and larval mosquitoes and management of mosquito habitat, done by established mosquito control projects/districts, and also involve educational outreach to increase public awareness and encourage the public to protect themselves from mosquito bites and to do their part to reduce mosquito habitat.
Regardless of the efforts described above, factors sometimes combine to create elevated levels of arbovirus, and it may be deemed necessary in these cases to perform intensified ground-based or aerial larviciding treatments, or in some cases, aerial adulticide applications. The Massachusetts Emergency Operations Response Plan for Mosquito-Borne Illness is meant to be a guide to the process by which stakeholders prepare for, discuss, and, if needed, execute a plan to perform an emergency arbovirus intervention.