Scott Fournier, Chief
5 N Main St.
Berkley, MA 02779
For Immediate Release
Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019
Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Email: [email protected]
Berkley Fire & Rescue Offers Safety Reminders After EEE Virus Confirmed in Mosquitoes in Area
BERKLEY — Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director Scott Fournier would like to offer some safety tips regarding avoiding mosquito bites after state officials announced that multiple towns around Berkley had confirmed that the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus was found in mosquitoes in those communities.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has confirmed that the EEE virus has been detected in mosquitoes collected from Dighton, Raynham and Lakeville.
EEE is a rare but serious illness spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. While EEE can infect people of all ages, people under 15 or over 50 years of age are at the greatest risk for serious illness.
“While there have not been any positive EEE mosquito tests in Berkley, we would still like to notify residents of the situation and offer some tips to avoid being bitten and potentially exposed to the virus,” Chief Fournier said.
Chief Fournier recommends the follow safety precautions offered by the MDPH to protect yourself and your loved ones:
Avoid Mosquito Bites
- 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 the 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 repellent.
- Clothing can help reduce mosquito bites: Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing long sleeves, long pants and socks while outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
- Apply insect repellent when you go outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET, permethrin, picaridin, IR3535 or 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 and should be used in concentrations of 30 percent or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age. Permethrin products are intended for use on items such as clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear and should not be applied directly to your skin.
Mosquito-Proof Your Home
- Drain standing water: Many mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or getting rid of items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools and change water in birdbaths frequently.
- Install or repair window and door screens: Some mosquitoes like to come indoors. Keep them outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.
Information about EEE and reports of current and historical EEE virus activity in Massachusetts can be found on the MDPH website at www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito.