State health officials now say they plan to conduct aerial spraying for mosquitoes in 21 southeastern Massachusetts communities.
The spraying will take place on Friday and Saturday nights after dark. The state is hoping to reduce the threat of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a potentially deadly disease for humans.
State Public Health Commissioner John Auerbach says recent confirmed samples of EEE in mammal-biting mosquitoes in the region have come earlier this year than in the past, something he considers “particularly concerning.”
The Department of Public Health on Wednesday added 10 cities and towns to the aerial spraying list, adding to the 11 others previously announced.
“I’m pleased to see DPH take a proactive approach to reducing the risk of EEE for residents of Southeastern Massachusetts,” said Senator Pacheco, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. “It is only with the recent changes to the State’s EEE Surveillance and Response Plan that we are able to utilize aerial spraying so soon in the season. I applaud Commissioner Auerbach and the Department of Public Health for listening to the concerns of Massachusetts residents and continuing to make public health a top priority.”
Experts say the mild winter and recent high temperatures may have caused faster breeding and early development of the virus in mosquitoes.
The cities and towns to be sprayed include:
11. West Bridgewater
12. East Bridgewater