Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) & West Nile Virus (WNV)
The Board of Health and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) recommend that the public take action to avoid mosquito bites and reduce mosquito populations around their home and neighborhoods.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)
EEE is a rare but serious illness spread by mosquitoes. While EEE can infect people of all ages, people under 15 years of age or over 50 years of age are at greatest risk for serious illness.
West Nile Virus (WNV)
While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection. There is currently no evidence to suggest that touching a dead bird can transmit WNV directly to humans. WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus.
The MDPH encourages all residents to continue to report dead birds through its public health information line at 866-MASS-WNV 866-627-7968. While most dead birds reported will not be tested for WNV, keeping track of their locations plays an important role in directing further bird, mosquito, and human surveillance activities.
Information about WNV and EEE and reports of WNV and EEE activity in Massachusetts can be found on the MDPH website.
The Board of Health continues to work closely with the MDPH and other agencies to improve awareness of and decrease the risk from EEE and WNV.
Locally we are actively distributing fact sheets on WNV and EEE and on reducing exposure to mosquitoes. These are available at the Board of Health, or the following:
For the most up to date information on seasonal activity, please look under the News and Announcements page.
Ways to Help Reduce Exposure
- Limit your time outdoors during peak periods of mosquito activity (dusk and dawn) or, if you must remain outdoors, wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants.
- Use a mosquito repellent that contains DEET or Picaridin. Oil of lemon eucalyptus may also be considered. Products with permethrin should only be used on clothing. Always follow the directions on the label. Repellents should not be used on children younger than two months of age. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.
- Take special care to cover up the arms and legs of children playing outdoors. When you bring a baby outdoors, cover the baby's carriage or playpen with mosquito netting.
- Fix any holes in your screens and make sure they are tightly attached to all of your doors and windows.
- Remove any standing water around your home that is available for mosquito breeding. Mosquitoes will begin to breed in any puddle or standing water that lasts for more than four days. Make sure water does not collect and stagnate in ceramic pots, trash cans, recycling containers, old tires, wading pools, birds baths, etc. Remove leaves and debris that may prevent drainage of roof gutters.
For questions regarding EEE and WNV in Taunton, please contact:
Adam Vickstrom, Assistant Executive Director
City of Taunton Arbovirus Coordinator
To register a complaint, please call 508-821-1400 so that your issue can be addressed in a timely manner.