The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) announced earlier in the week that aerial spraying for mosquitoes will take place in specific areas of southeastern Massachusetts. So far this year, 22 communities in southeastern Massachusetts have been found by DPH to be at high risk for the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus.
EEE is a rare but serious and potentially fatal disease that can affect people of all ages. No human cases of EEE have been detected so far this year.
MDAR will conduct and monitor aerial spraying in specific areas of Bristol and Plymouth counties which are anticipated to begin on Thursday, August 8, and continue over several evenings. The ability to spray is weather dependent and may change. Not every community in Bristol and Plymouth County will be sprayed.
• Communities entirely within the spray zone:
o Bristol County: Raynham, Taunton, Dighton, Berkley, Freetown, Acushnet
o Plymouth County: Whitman, East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Hanson
Bridgewater, Halifax, Plympton, Kingston, Carver, Middleborough, Lakeville, Rochester
• Communities partially in the spray zone:
o Bristol County: Easton, Norton, Rehoboth, Swansea, Fall River, Dartmouth, New Bedford, Fairhaven
o Plymouth County: Brockton, Rockland, Hanover, Pembroke, Duxbury, Plymouth, Wareham, Marion, Mattapoisett
Aerial spraying is conducted by airplane in areas of concern during early evening and nighttime hours. There are no health risks expected during or after spraying. While no special precautions are recommended, residents can reduce exposure by staying indoors during spraying.
Owners should cover small ornamental fishponds during the night of spraying. While it is not necessary to bring animals indoors during spraying, keeping pets inside will minimize the risk of exposure.
Click here for a map to zoom in on areas being sprayed
The map will also eventually show which areas are being sprayed on which days.