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

Communications Director, Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Recent Posts

A Summer of Friendship and Growth posted on Aug 22

A Summer of Friendship and Growth

Shannon Curtin’s second summer in the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Urban Youth Collaborative Internship Program (UYCP) was spent, among other things, leading a dance party for two at Resources for Human Development, Boston, Inc. Curtin who grew close with one particular individual, said she   …Continue Reading A Summer of Friendship and Growth

Coffee and a Familiar Face posted on Aug 11

Coffee and a Familiar Face

Braintree’s Rick Swan, who is legally blind, runs a small coffee shop in the lobby of One Ashburton Place in Boston – home to many state agencies including EOHHS. Swan started running the shop with his wife, who is also legally blind, approximately four years   …Continue Reading Coffee and a Familiar Face

A New Hope for Women with Addictions posted on Aug 8

A New Hope for Women with Addictions

The second phase of the Women’s Recovery from Addictions Program (WRAP) in Taunton opened in July, 2016 officially closing the chapter on the day when women with substance use disorders are sent to prison for treatment. State officials who recently toured the new unit including Governor   …Continue Reading A New Hope for Women with Addictions