WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — State health officials have raised the EEE threat level to "High" in Westborough after detecting mammal-biting mosquitoes infected with Eastern Equine Encephalitis in town.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is recommending that outdoor evening events be curtailed for the remainder of the summer. The current ground-based spraying by the mosquito control project will be enhanced, according to the department.
The Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project is scheduled to spray in Westborough Thursday and Friday.
The City of New Bedford has also had its EEE threat level raised.
"We continue to see elevated levels of EEE activity in mosquitoes across the region, so it's more important than ever for people to take precautions to avoid getting bit," said State Epidemiologist Dr. Al DeMaria. "Use insect repellant, cover up exposed skin, and avoid outdoor activities at dusk and nighttime, when mosquitoes are at their most active."
Westborough had its first case of EEE of the year reported in late July.
Routine mosquito samples are collected during the summer months in order for public health officials to monitor West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
There has been one confirmed case of a person with EEE in Massachusetts, after a MetroWest resident was believed to have contracted the disease while traveling out of state.
There were two cases of EEE in August 2011, including one that led to a fatality in Bristol County.
EEE is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito, and is a serious disease in all ages.