Health Director: With EEE Found, Residents Should Protect Themselves
The Board of Health has offered safety tips for Westwood residents to follow.
With the recent discovery of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in the southern portion of the state, the Westwood Board of Health is advising residents to remain vigilant in protecting themselves from mosquito bites.
"We don't assume that Westwood doesn't have disease," said Westwood Health Director Linda Shea. "All of these measures the state is taking is just reducing the risk, it isn't eliminating it."
State officials announced Tuesday that aerial spraying will occur in Easton and 10 other towns after more EEE positive mosquitoes were found on the Easton/Raynham line. Middleboro, Norton, Plympton, Raynham, Taunton, West Bridgewater, Bridgewater, Halifax and Lakeville will all receive the treatment.
The disease was first detected in Easton last week, prompting officials to raise the area's threat of mosquito-borne illness from “moderate” to “high.”
But just because EEE has not been detected near Westwood so far this season, Shea says it's not a reason to let one's guard up.
"Once it's identified, people should remember that mosquitoes carry disease," Shea said. "You can assume it could be anywhere."
Moreover, residents in Westwood have the ability to request spray treatments directly through the Norfolk County Mosquito Control Project's website.
The Westwood Board of Health has provided a variety of safety tips for residents to follow:
- Limit your time outdoors during peak periods of mosquito activity (dusk and dawn) or if you must remain outdoors, wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants.
- Use a mosquito repellent that contains DEET (the chemical N-N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) and follow the directions on the label.
- Take special care to cover up the arms and legs of children playing outdoors. When you bring a baby outdoors, cover the baby’s carriage or playpen with mosquito netting.
- Fix holes in your screens and make sure they are tightly attached to all your doors and windows.
- Remove standing water around your home. Make sure water does not collect and stagnate in ceramic pots, trash cans, recycling containers, old tires, wading pools, birds baths, etc. Remove leaves and debris that may prevent drainage of roof gutters.