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

HOME Act Adds Another Level of Protection for Veterans Who are Entering Civilian Life posted on Jul 22

HOME Act Adds Another Level of Protection for Veterans Who are Entering Civilian Life

On Thursday, July 14, 2016, Governor Baker signed the HOME Act and added another level of protection for veterans who are transitioning to civilian life by establishing laws to prevent veterans from being discriminated against in regard to housing, employment, and military service, as well   …Continue Reading HOME Act Adds Another Level of Protection for Veterans Who are Entering Civilian Life

MCB Receives the 2016 American Optometric Association Vision Rehabilitation Distinguished Service Award posted on Jul 18

MCB Receives the 2016 American Optometric Association Vision Rehabilitation Distinguished Service Award

On July 1st, the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) was awarded the 2016 American Optometric Association (AOA) Vision Rehabilitation Distinguished Service Award, which is given to those who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to serving individuals with visual impairment to improve visual efficiency. MCB Commissioner   …Continue Reading MCB Receives the 2016 American Optometric Association Vision Rehabilitation Distinguished Service Award

Ombudsman Eases Constituent Worries posted on Jul 14

Ombudsman Eases Constituent Worries

What Cynthia Miller loves about public service most is helping people solve problems, and as a dedicated public servant, Miller has spent nearly 30 years in state service doing just that. For the past five years Miller has been the Director of Interagency Planning &   …Continue Reading Ombudsman Eases Constituent Worries