PRESS RELEASE Town of Canton, MA BOARD OF HEALTH, 79 Pleasant Street, Canton, MA 02021 Tel.: (781) 821-5021.
August 16, 2019
EEE Detected in Mosquitos in the Town of Canton
As of this writing, August 16, 2019, based on information compiled by the Massachusetts Department of Public health (MDPH) and the Norfolk County Mosquito Control Project (NCMCP), the Canton Board of Health currently considers the risk of infection for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) to be moderate.
By 4:00 PM on Friday, August 16, 2019, three mosquito samples have tested positive for Eastern Equine encephalitis within the Town of Canton (Please note that the Canton Board of Health has been directed not to name where the mosquito samples were collected). Two of the mosquito samples testing positive for EEE were from the mosquito species, Coquillettidia perturbans. The other mosquito specie is Culiseta melanura. These species are primarily “bird biters” (feed on birds), however they have also been known to bite humans on occasion.
Although the risk is considered moderate at this time, based on the biting behavior of the infected mosquito species, residents are reminded to be vigilant about taking all necessary steps to avoid any mosquito bites, as other "human-biter" mosquito species may later be found to be carrying the EEE virus.
Residents should be aware that mosquitos are attracted to both body heat and carbon dioxide and both are produced in higher amounts during physical activity. This should be taken into account during outdoor activities, and especially as pre-season sports training begins.
Avoid Mosquito Bites:
- Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.
- Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. As the EEE risk increases, 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.
- 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 wherever possible that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains to prevent standing water collection. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths semi-weekly.
- Install or Repair Window Screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.
- 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. If you are outdoors at any time and notice mosquitoes around you, take steps to avoid being bitten by moving indoors, covering up and/or wearing repellant.
Mosquito spraying continues throughout the mosquito season by the NCMCP. Canton residents will be regularly updated in any change in the EEE risk status.
If you have any questions, please contact the Canton Board of Health (781) 821 5021.
John L. Ciccotelli, R.S., C.H.O.
Director of Public Health
Canton Board of Health