SUDBURY — The Town of Sudbury reports that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has elevated the its risk for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) to “critical” after a 5-year-old girl tested positive for the virus.
The Town is following Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidelines and advises all residents to strongly consider cancelling or rescheduling any planned outdoor activities between dusk and dawn until further notice.
A positive EEE test in a human automatically raises the threat level for EEE to “critical” in a community. The girl is being treated at an area hospital and is in critical condition. Public Health officials are actively investigating the origins of the Sudbury resident’s infection.
This will be the 6th case in the state.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the EEE virus is a rare but serious cause of brain infections and other neurological problem. EEE causes very few human cases each year but can be fatal. The risk of infection is highest among individuals under the age of 15 and over the age of 50.
The Sudbury Health Department is working in close collaboration with the East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project to determine the times and locations where spraying will take place. Mosquito spraying will be conducted town wide on Monday and Tuesday evening (weather permitting).
Spraying will first target school grounds, parks and fields, and will be completed over the course of next week. Sudbury streets will be sprayed by Tuesday evening, weather permitting.
Out of an abundance of caution, Sudbury Public Schools and our partners are taking the following measures, effective immediately:
- Spraying of the playgrounds and school property on Monday or Tuesday, weather permitting;
- Concluding all after school activities before dusk;
- Moving recess indoors for Pre-K to grade 5 students;
- Postponing or adjusting outdoor curricular activities.
The two products being sprayed are Mavrik Perimeter, which will be applied via backpack sprayers at schools and fields. Anvil 10+10 will also be applied using a truck mounted sprayer.along town roadways. To read the safety data sheet for Mavrik Perimeter, click here. To read the safety data sheet for Anvil 10+10, click here.
Effective immediately, all Town of Sudbury and, Lincoln-Sudbury and Sudbury Public Schools’ outdoor evening activities are cancelled. Outdoor activities should conclude by 7:15 p.m. through the week of Sept. 8-14 and 15 minutes earlier each successive week until the first hard frost.
Both the Sudbury Public Schools and Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School will be sending letters home to parents detailing their response plans.
The Sudbury Health Department strongly urges members of the community to adhere to the following safety tips from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health:
Avoid Mosquito BitesLimit outdoor activities during peak mosquito hours. Consider cancelling or rescheduling planned outdoor evening events and activities. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. If you are outdoors at any time and notice mosquitoes around you, take steps to avoid being bitten by moving indoors, covering up and/or wearing repellent.Clothing can help reduce mosquito bites: Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing long sleeves, long pants and socks while outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.Apply insect repellent if you do go outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET, permethrin, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus 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 percent or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age. Permethrin products are intended for use on items such as clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear and should not be applied directly to your skin