Posted by: Dr. Catherine Brown, State Public Health Veterinarian
Last week, I gave a presentation to a group of environmental advocates about the recent aerial spraying of pesticides in parts of Southeastern Massachusetts. I wanted a chance to explain the science behind the decision to spray and where the spraying had occurred.
Specifically, I walked the group through this year’s timeline of finding EEE positive mosquitoes and how it compared to years past, reviewed the current mosquito population data, and explained why certain cities and towns were included in the spray zone. Download the presentation here.
We have since found that the aerial spraying reduced the mosquito population by approximately 60 percent within the 21-communities in the spray zone. Nevertheless, aerial spraying cannot completely eliminate the risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito. So while the spraying certainly decreased the number of mosquitoes, including those infected with EEE, it did not eliminate the threat of mosquito-borne illness.
All residents, whether or not they live in a community that was sprayed, should continue to take precautions to protect themselves against mosquito bites.
- Use bug spray anytime you are outdoors.
- Cover exposed skin when outside.
- Use mosquito netting on baby carriages and play yards.
- Avoid being outside from dusk to dawn, when mosquitoes are at their most active.
Around your home, be sure to drain water-holding containers where mosquitoes can breed, such as garbage cans, flower pots, bird baths, and discarded auto-tires and install and repair screens in windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
Learn more at www.mass.gov/dph/wnv
Working Together to Improve Adult Immunization Rates in MA posted on Apr 23
Registration for the 19th Annual Massachusetts Adult Immunization Conference is open! This event, to be held May 20, 2014 at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA attracts professionals from local public health organizations, long-term-care facilities, pharmacies, college health, hospitals, physician practices, community health centers, employers, health …Continue Reading Working Together to Improve Adult Immunization Rates in MA
Weekly Flu Report, April 18, 2014 posted on Apr 18
This week’s flu report shows a late-season increase in the rate of flu-like illness in the state – an indication of the unpredictability of flu and a reminder of the importance of taking simple measures to stop the spread of illness in our homes and communities. …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, April 18, 2014
DPH Kicks Off Town Hall Meetings to Address Underage Drinking and Prescription Drug Abuse posted on Apr 15
Last week, the Department hosted the first in a series of statewide Town Hall Meetings that will examine what can be done to prevent underage drinking and prescription drug abuse in the Commonwealth. Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS) Director Hilary Jacobs was joined at the …Continue Reading DPH Kicks Off Town Hall Meetings to Address Underage Drinking and Prescription Drug Abuse