Newton Mosquito Update

Newton’s risk level for West Nile Virus (WNV) has been raised from low to moderate due to a human case of WNV disease in Middlesex County. Newton’s risk level for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) remains at low. The Newton Health and Human Services Department’s recommendations for protecting against mosquito carried illness remain largely unchanged.

 

The primary change is to always take precautions when outdoors, not just from dusk to dawn. The recommendations include:

 

  • Wear mosquito repellent (EPA registered)
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants when weather permits
  • Use mosquito netting on baby carriages and playpens
  • Dump standing water twice weekly
  • Repair screens

There are no spraying plans at this time due to current risk levels for both EEE and WNV, per Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture guidelines.

 

Newton HHS has worked with the Newton Public Schools to develop temporary guidelines for student activities until the first hard frost (usually by mid-October) when mosquitoes typically die. These include:

  • Outdoor field trips to locations in “high” or “critical” EEE risk areas have been cancelled. Trips to shady, wooded areas in moderate EEE risk towns have also been cancelled.
  • Newton Public Schools-sponsored athletic activities held in other communities are following guidelines established in those host communities at this time.
  • Planned outdoor evening activities in Newton may be moved indoors if possible. If held outside, wear repellent and long sleeves/pants. (Parents/caregivers should apply/provide repellent.)
  • At this time, Newton HHS is not requiring outdoor evening activities in Newton to be cancelled.
  • At this time, outdoor activities during the day in Newton (recess and physical education) may be held, but it is recommended to apply repellent at home to students before school.
  • This information is subject to change as new information becomes available. Updates are available at www.newtonma.gov/health

West Nile Virus (less severe in most cases than EEE) is a mosquito-carried virus that can cause illness ranging from a mild fever to more serious disease like encephalitis or meningitis. Less than 1% of people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. Most people (approximately 80%) who become infected with WNV will have no symptoms. A smaller number of people who become infected will have symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, nausea and sometimes swollen glands and/or a rash.

 

For more information about West Nile Virus and EEE please see our FAQs.

 

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