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Worcester Residents Reminded of Risks for EEE, West Nile Virus

For Immediate Release: 6/22/2020 1:06 pm

The City of Worcester reminds residents to take precautions to guard against the risk of contracting Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) Virus and West Nile Virus.

The Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project, of which the City is a member, is expressing concern about a resurgence of both EEE and West Nile Virus, and has already undertaken efforts in an attempt to mitigate their impact. Last year, many communities, including Worcester, were forced to cancel outdoor nighttime activities, including fall high school sports, as a result of the threat of EEE.

“As we remain vigilant about the spread of the COVID-19 virus, it is important that we do not ignore the risks of mosquito-borne threats such as EEE and West Nile Virus,” City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. said. “We appreciate the continued efforts of the CMMCP to lessen the impact of mosquitoes, and encourage residents to take precautions to guard against contracting these potentially dangerous viruses.”

The CMMCP started wetlands inspections and treatments for mosquito larvae in April. Both will continue into September. Wetlands will be checked periodically throughout mosquito season.

Catch basin treatments, which help lower the risk of WNV, began in late May, with more than 3,000 catch basins treated to date. The CMMCP is coordinating with Public Works on their catch basin cleaning program to prevent overlap.

In addition, over two dozen surveillance sites have been established, and CMMCP is gathering adult mosquitoes on a weekly rotation to be tested for adult-borne viruses.

The CMMCP’s collection of tires, which can gather water and serve as a fertile breeding ground for mosquitoes, has temporarily ceased, but residents may call for pickup, which will be done as soon as possible. Residential requests are also being accepted for limited-area spraying by truck-mounted equipment. Crews will be in Worcester each week for limited spray applications, weather permitting. To request service, visit www.cmmcp.org, or call 508-393-3055.

Residents are urged to practice the 5 D’s:
o Dress in long sleeves and pants when possible. Cover up during periods of mosquito activity
o Dawn & Dusk are mosquitoes’ most active periods
o DEET is effective repellant. Follow instructions for use
o Drain water from containers

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