The Department of Public Health has announced that the risk level for eastern equine encephalitis, better known as EEE, has been increased to high in two Commonwealth communities.
Both Middleborough and Carver had risk levels that were moderate and moved to high levels following found positive mosquito samples.
The EEE virus has been found in 16 mosquito samples this season across the state. No human or animal cases of the virus have been detected this year thus far.
“The mosquito surveillance results indicate that the virus activity has increased in one area in southeastern Massachusetts,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH.
She continued, “we want people to be aware that the EEE virus is present in mosquitoes in the area and are encouraging residents to take steps to avoid mosquito bites.”
DPH is working with the local communities, local Mosquito Control Projects, and other mosquito control experts to coordinate surveillance and appropriate public health response activities.
“We always take EEE very seriously,” said DPH State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown. “It is important for residents to know that in communities at high risk for EEE, we encourage use of mosquito repellent and scheduling outdoor events to avoid the hours between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes most likely to spread EEE are most active.”
The EEE virus has also been confirmed in samples found in the Franklin County area which increased the risk level to moderate in various communities around there.
The town of Plympton in Plymouth County is also at moderate risk for EEE.
There were 12 human cases of EEE in Massachusetts in 2019. Information about current mosquito activity will continue to be updated regularly and can be found here.