Franklin County Areas at Moderate to Critical Risk for EEE

The commonwealth is experiencing its first outbreak of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE, since 2012. The Greenfield Health Department is working hard to inform the citizens of Greenfield of the risk of the EEE virus. We are asking people to know their risk and take appropriate action.

EEE is a rare but serious illness spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. While EEE can infect people of all ages, people under 15 or over 50 years of age are at the greatest risk for serious illness.

EEE has effects on your neurological system; some symptoms are chills and fever. The illness can last for one to two weeks, and the type and severity can vary depending on the age of the person who has been infected. The most effective way to prevent infection from EEE is to prevent mosquito bites.

How to Avoid Mosquito Bites

  • Avoid Peak Mosquito Hours- The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning. If you are outdoors at these times please take proper precautions to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes.
  • Cover with Clothing- Although it may be difficult during hot weather, wearing long sleeves, long pants, and long socks will keep mosquitoes away from trying to bite you.
  • Using Insect Repellent is very Important- Use a repellent that has DEET, permethrin, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Please use these products according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.
  • Stay Away from Standing Water- Many mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the time spent around standing water.

More information about EEE and its statistics can be found at the website for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (https://www.mass.gov/service-details/eee-eastern-equine-encephalitis).

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