High Risk Levels Continue in Hopkinton For Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile Virus

By contributor,

Since the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced on September 7, 2012 that the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) human case, which resulted in the death of a Middlesex County resident an additional 4 human cases of EEE and 19 cases of West Nile Virus have occurred in the State. The individual who died had been exposed in Westborough and that resulted in the Town of Hopkinton being raised to HIGH RISK for Mosquito Borne illness. On September 12, 2012 after discussions with Police, Fire, School, Parks and Recreation the Town of through the Board of Health Office announced until further notice all organized evening outdoor events or activities on public properties are cancelled from the period of ½ hour before sunset and ½ hour after sunrise. This outdoor event/activity limitation remains in effect until the first hard frost. This occurs when the temperature is at 28 ͦF for two hours or longer. Though temperatures are cooler, risk from mosquitoes continues to remain elevated and will until after the first hard frost.

Personal protection is your best response to prevent mosquito borne illness. Apply insect repellant when outdoors, avoid outdoor activity from dusk to dawn, and wear long-sleeves, long pants and socks to help keep mosquitoes from your skin. Remember as daylight changes each day sunrise/sunset will change. A sunrise/sunset schedule for Hopkinton for the remainder of October to use as a guide is attached below.

The Board of Health appreciates all the community cooperation in insuring that safety is the priority during this mosquito active period. The Board will provide further updates as necessary.

More information, including all West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis positive results from 2012, can be found on the Arbovirus Surveillance Information web page at www.mass.gov/dph/wnv or by calling the Department of Public Health Epidemiology Program at (617)983-6800.

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