(NECN: Melissa Toupin) - Auburn's board of health is asking residents to take precautions against mosquitos.
This week, state officials have already confirmed cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE in mosquitoes in the southeastern part of the state.
“My understanding from the state is that this is the earliest it's been in years, usually not until August,” said Auburn’s Director of Public Health Andrew Pelletier.
So far this summer there has been no evidence of EEE or West Nile in mosquitoes in Worcester country.
Pelletier says the presence of “mosquito-borne illnesses elsewhere” is concerning.
Because the virus has presented its self so early- Pelletier says infected mosquitos have the opportunity to spread further and faster.
“So what has commonly been a S.E. Massachusetts problem, spikes in other areas could become wide spread.
No human cases of EEE or WNV in Massachusetts residents so far this year. Last summer there were two cases of EEE, one of which was fatal.
The Central Mass. Mosquito Control Project says there are steps residents can take to protect themselves and reduce the chance of being bitten.
“Be sure to wear repellant if in areas of high mosquito population. Read the label, know how to apply and look at the active ingredient,” said Tim Deschamps of the Central Mass. Mosquito Control Project.
When outdoors, residents should also dress appropriately, meaning long pants and long sleeved shirts.
Standing water in buckets and bird baths should be drained.
And outdoor events should be scheduled “to avoid peak mosquito activity.”
“Peak hours are generally sunset- one hour before to three to four after, same for sunset,” said Deschamps.