Rochester changed to high risk for mosquito borne virus
ROCHESTER — The state declared the town at high risk for Eastern Equine Encephalitis on Aug. 3 because mosquitoes in two surrounding towns and a Middleborough boy under the age of 18 tested positive for the disease.
Carver and Middleborough both had mosquitoes test positive for the virus, which causes a rare but serious and often deadly swelling in the brain. Most at risk are people under the age of 15 or older than 50.
Rochester Health Director Karen Walega warns that the peak hours for mosquitoes are from dusk to dawn, and recommends that outdoor events at those times be rescheduled. Rochester residents should move indoors, cover up by wearing long sleeves, pants and socks, and wear insect repellant if they see mosquitoes around them. Repellants should include DEET, permethrin (for clothing and camping gear), picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus.
Homeowners can also work to prevent mosquitoes around their homes by draining standing water so mosquitoes cannot lay eggs and installing tightly-fitted screens.
Rochester will also have Plymouth County Mosquito Control do a town-wide spraying. The town was able to get the spraying town-wide instead of by street because of the change in risk level. The spraying was scheduled for early Wednesday morning, but may need to be rescheduled due to inclement weather on Tuesday.
Marion and Mattapoisett are still considered at low risk for the virus.
Information about EEE and reports of current and historical EEE virus activity in Massachusetts can be found on the MDPH website at www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito