Post Content

Each summer, the Department of Public Health works closely with local and regional partners to protect Massachusetts residents against the risk of West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) – two serious diseases which are spread though the bite of an infected mosquito.

HHS Mosquito Surveillance

HHS Secretary Polanowicz joins DPH mosquito collection staff outside Worcester to monitor the spread of mosquitoes carrying WNV and EEE.

At the forefront of our efforts is mosquito surveillance – monitoring the spread of mosquitoes which are carrying WNV and EEE, so we can take appropriate steps to both inform the public and help local communities take steps to mitigate the risk in their area.

Last week, Secretary Polanowicz took an up-close look at the first step in the mosquito surveillance process, joining DPH mosquito collection staff and laboratory representatives at a trap location where mosquito samples are collected.

This particular trap is located in a town just outside Worcester. But in fact, there are more than 100 such traps located in swampy and wooded areas all over central and eastern Massachusetts. Some are the responsibility of DPH while others are operated by local coalitions known as Mosquito Control Projects.

Mosquitoes caught in these traps are sent to the Hinton State Laboratory Institute in Jamaica Plain, where a team of lab specialists sort each mosquito by hand to separate them into groups by species of mosquito. Only those types of mosquitoes that can spread EEE and WNV actually undergo testing.

WNV and EEE mosquito test results – both positive and negative – help paint the picture of the extent to which these viruses are present (or absent) in mosquito populations in a given region. Having this type of accurate geographical information can help us assess risk levels for an entire region and make recommendations to our local partners on ways to mitigate that risk.

In the meantime – no matter where you live – it’s important to take simple, common-sense steps to avoid mosquito bites and the illnesses they can cause.

Written By:


Department of Public Health

Deputy Communications Director, Office of Health and Human Services

Recent Posts

Department of Youth Services Leadership and Programs Receive National Recognition posted on Oct 27

Department of Youth Services Leadership and Programs Receive National Recognition

The Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (DYS) was nationally recognized by the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators (CJCA) for excellence in residential youth programming and exemplary leadership. DYS staff at the Worcester Secure Treatment, a DYS hardware residential center for boys, won the 2014  CJCA Barbara Allen-Hagen Award   …Continue Reading Department of Youth Services Leadership and Programs Receive National Recognition

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month posted on Oct 15

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

In 1994, after four years of intense investigation and testimony, Congress concluded  that there was a pervasive problem of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking among women in the United States.  As a result,the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was passed.  This legislation  was the   …Continue Reading October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month posted on Oct 6

October is Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month

This month, Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz announced an infant safe sleep campaign focused on the importance of infant safe sleep practices and promoting ways to reduce risks associated with Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID), the leading cause of death among infants between   …Continue Reading October is Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month