As many of you may know, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV) both have been identified in the State, with several human and animal cases having been identified . As of 8/26/19, EEE positive mosquitos have also been identified in Middlesex county, however as of today, no positive mosquitos have been found in Westford. As of 8/29/19, Westford’s risk level for WNV is low and our risk level for EEE is Low according to the 2019 Massachusetts Arbovirus Daily Update. While our risk is low, it is important for you to know that We are closely monitoring the surveillance data every day to ensure the Town is prepared to take appropriate action to reduce the risk of mosquito borne illness. On 8/29/19 Several Town Departments met, which include the Health Department, School Department, Parks and Recreation, Highway Department and the Facilities Department to discuss and prepare for an appropriate response to a change in the Towns risk level. At this time, we are recommending the following tips to help you remain safe while enjoying outdoor activity.
• Limit your time outdoors during peak periods of mosquito activity (dusk and dawn). Wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants if you’re out during dusk and dawn.
• Use a mosquito repellent that contains DEET or Picaridin. Oil of lemon eucalyptus may also be considered. Always follow the directions on the label.
• Cover the arms and legs of children playing outdoors. Cover a baby’s carriage or playpen with mosquito netting.
• Fix any holes in your screens and make sure they are tightly attached to all doors and windows.
• Remove any standing pools of water around your home. Mosquitoes will 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, bird baths, etc.
• Remove leaves and debris that may prevent drainage of roof gutters.
• If you wish to have your property treated for mosquitos, you may contact www.cmmcp.org The Central Mass Mosquito control project.
If you have any questions or need more information, you may contact the Health Department at 978-692-5509
Jeffrey P. Stephens, R.S. CP-FS
Westford Health Department
55 Main St.
Westford, MA 01886