Since last month, when the Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus was discovered in a horse in Middleborough, public health officials have waged a war on mosquitoes in southeastern Massachusetts.
Planes sprayed insecticide over Bristol and Plymouth last week, and trucks are deployed at night to continue spraying mosquito-killing chemicals. The last time the state conducted aerial spraying was in 2006, when an outbreak of EEE killed six people.
The human threat of the disease is low; even if someone contracts the virus, there is a one-in-20 chance of developing EEE, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But for people who do develop the infection, the prognosis is grave. There is no cure, and of those who have contracted the disease in Massachusetts, half have died.
We talk about what Masschusetts is doing to prevent the spread of EEE and what people should know about the spraying in their neighborhoods.
- Dr. Al DeMaria, state epidemiologist
- Wayne Andrews, superintendent, Bristol County Mosquito Control Project
This program aired on August 10, 2010.