Weymouth, Mass. Mosquito Spraying After EEE Death - NECN

Weymouth, Mass. Mosquito Spraying After EEE Death



    85-year-old Janet Dignan died after being bitten by mosquito carrying the disease (Published Friday, Feb. 21, 2014)

    (NECN: Scot Yount, Weymouth, Mass.) -The mother of four sons is laid to rest Wednesday. Eighty-five- year-old Janet Dignan died last week after being bitten by a mosquito infected with Eastern Equine Encephalitis or EEE.
    County officials can't say whether Dignan was bitten in her home town of Weymouth, Mass., but additional spraying is set for later on tonight as a result.

    "We are gonna do some extra spray applications tonight, and we are going our normal spray applications on Thursday night, tomorrow night," said David Lawson, who heads up Norfolk County's Mosquito Control Program.  
    He reports that county-wide, his traps have captured mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus, but no EEE.

    "It is in fact true, that we do not know that she was infected in Weymouth, so, it could have been in some other location," Lawson said.
    This is the first human case of EEE so far this year.
    So, in Weymouth, a Code Red-kind of reverse 911 call has already gone out.

    "The State Department of Public Health has confirmed the first human case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, which tragically resulted in the death of an elderly Weymouth resident," said the recording.
    Residents are heeding the warnings.

    "You just have to take care of it, spray the town and hope for the best, spray yourself," said Rick Donahue of Weymouth.

    "Like everybody else, try to keep your kids in at night, and stay out of it, and when it gets to be dusk, you avoid the mosquitoes they die in a couple of months when the frost comes, it is all you can really do," said Weymouth resident Tom Nowell.
    The Massachusetts DPH has increased the risk level here to high and town officials are looking at next steps.

    "The town is currently discussing rescheduling outdoor activities with all of the appropriate departments, youth groups, at risk populations to ensure we are doing as much as we can to protect our residents," said Weymouth Mayor Susan Kay.
    In addition, new testing pools will be installed in the neighborhood where Dignan lived.

    "They are gonna put one a little closer to where the property was and monitor that, and hopefully we don't see any positive EEE or West Nile virus, if we do they are going to continue spray applications throughout the town and especially in that particular area," Weymouth Director of Public Health Daniel McCormack said.
    Public Health officials remind that many people who are bitten may not become sick, or even contract the disease.  The very young and elderly, or those with already compromised immune systems are at the greatest risk.