BOSTON (CBS) – The state’s Department of Public Health has confirmed a third human case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), this one from northern Franklin County.

Mosquito spraying in Worcester Country begins today depending on the weather. There will probably be several spraying, again depending on the weather. Avoid going outside at dusk and dawn.

Wear long sleeves, long pants, and use DEET. It can be lethal to humans. Dogs are less likely to get it than people or horses — and when they do, it tends to be milder. It can kill horses as well as llamas and alpacas. There is no human vaccine, but there is a vaccine for horses. This situation will continue until hard frost.

We need a cold winter with less rain.

The latest victim is a man older than 60.

Massachusetts has not seen a human case of EEE since 2011 until this summer when now-three people contracted the virus.

The risk level in the towns of Heath and Colrain in Franklin County has been raised to critical.

A horse in Mendon and a horse in Uxbridge, both towns in Worcester County, have also tested positive for the EEE virus. The risk in those towns has also been raised to critical.

Massachusetts EEE risk levels as of Aug. 19 (WBZ-TV)

The threat caused Mendon to cancel Saturday night’s “Mendonfest” because it’s scheduled during peak biting hours.

“2019 is really turning out to be not just an active year, but a very active year,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown.

Dr. Brown said several factors are contributing including changing temperatures and precipitation along with the shifting types of mosquito species.

“Because we’re seeing an increase in the populations of the mammal biting mosquitoes, we think that might be one of the reasons that the cycle is changing a little bit as well,” Dr. Brown said.

Earlier this week, DPH and the Department of Agricultural Resources said aerial spraying in specific areas of Worcester and Middlesex counties is scheduled to begin Sunday, Aug. 25. As a result of the elevated risk in several communities, the spray zone has been expanded. The additional communities either partially or fully in the spray zone are Blackstone, Douglas, Dudley, Holliston, Hopedale, Mendon, Millville, Oxford, Uxbridge, and Webster.

In total across Massachusetts, there are 23 communities now at critical risk, 22 at high risk and 52 at moderate risk for the EEE virus. So far, EEE has been found in 330 mosquito samples this year, many of them from species that can spread the virus to humans.

EEE symptoms can range from a stiff neck, headache, and lack of energy to dangerous complications like inflammation and swelling of the brain.

The risk of EEE will remain until the first killing frost.

Aren’t we glad that climate change is a myth?

Categories: Blackstone Valley, climate change, New England, News, reblog

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23 replies

  1. This is absolutely terrifying…. O.M.G….. Aren’t we lucky that this has got nothing to do with man made climate change!?! Was hesitating to ‘like’ this but did anyway. The contents of your post will probably haunt me in nightmares – and there I was, complaining about my mosquito bites I got while watering my garden!


    • Garry and I went out and spent about half an hour taking pictures, then went home. We didn’t feel well anyway and frankly, we’re scared of getting bitten, even though we were wearing long sleeves and long pants and GARRY was wearing rubber gloves. He REALLY hates crawly bitey bugs and had a nasty run-in with a poisonous spider a couple of years ago. Whenever I want to move somewhere warmer, I realize — NO, I don’t. Too many bugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The officials who talk about this without linking it to climate change are criminally deceiving the public. This definitely is about climate change. There’s a brief section of my book “The Warmest Tide” about disease; I wish I had know about this earlier or I’d have used it as an example.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s been working it’s way up the east coast for about 10 years. I suspect since I think the “parents” are in Mexico, that there’s no reason, if the weather cooperates, why it shouldn’t climb up the west coast too. It’s pretty scary. I had viral meningitis when I was in Israel and that was bad, but not lethal. This is worse.


  3. This is a new one for me…never heard of it….always something new to threaten us.


  4. Stay inside and stay well.


    • I want to get out for at least an hour and take some pictures. We probably should go south into Rhode Island which isn’t critical — yet. No more than an hour then home again. It’s going to get worse as fall approaches. This wasn’t supposed to happen, but the climate IS changing.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes and the thing is, it IS going to get worse for you, for us, for everyone. As the climate and the ocean warms, things that couldn’t live here will come and stay. Once I heard that Upton and Millbury were critical, it was just a matter of days until it arrived (officially) here and in Mendon and Douglas — and all the other towns along the river. Where do mosquitoes breed, after all? Water. Standing water. And we have a LOT of it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Terr’ble, indeed.


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