EEE in local community – personal protective measures you can take

  For Immediate Release 

Eastern Equine Encephalitis – Mosquito sample – Topsfield

A sample of mosquitoes collected in Topsfield on 9/10/13 was found to contain the virus that causes Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).

The Hamilton Board of Health offers the following preventative measures you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your neighbors from mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases.

Avoid mosquito bites:

  • Minimize time spent outdoors at dawn, dusk, and in the early evening, which are peak mosquito biting times.
  • Weather permitting, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants whenever you are outdoors.
  • Apply insect repellent to exposed skin and clothing.
    • Choose a repellent that provides protection for the amount of time that you will be outdoors.  Read the label and reapply as needed. Generally, higher percentage of active ingredients last longer, but are otherwise not more effective.
    • DEET products should not be used on infants under 2 months of age. Children older than two months should use products with DEET concentrations of 30% or less. Always read the product label to determine the percentage of DEET, and reapply as needed.
    • Some natural products, such as oil of lemon eucalyptus, are as effective as low concentrations of DEET, though not as long-lasting.
    • Spray clothing with repellents containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent since mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing. Do not apply repellents containing permethrin directly to exposed skin.
    •  Link here for more information about Mosquito Repellents.
  • Install or repair window and door screens.
  • Use mosquito netting over infant carriers when outdoors.

 

Help reduce the number of mosquitoes by draining standing water (places where mosquitoes can lay their eggs and breed).

  • At least once or twice a week, empty water from flower pots, pet food and water dishes, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, tarps, buckets, barrels, and cans.
  • Check for clogged rain gutters and clean them out.
  • Remove discarded tires, and other items that could collect water.
    • Tires are accepted at DPW Yard on “Ewaste” days (3rd Saturday, 8am-noon)
  • Be sure to check for containers or trash in places that may be hard to see, such as under bushes or under your home.

 

The Hamilton Board of Health has not found sufficient evidence that truck spraying is an effective means of reducing the risk of West Nile Virus (WNV) or Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in humans.  Personal protective measures and draining standing water in your yard, described above, are your best protection against mosquito bites and mosquito-borne diseases.

 

For more information, please refer to the Board of Health webpage  http://www.hamiltonma.gov/Pages/HamiltonMA_Health/mosquito.

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