ACUSHNET, Mass. — Aerial spraying will take place in southeastern Massachusetts communities next week as health officials try to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne eastern equine encephalitis, or EEE.
Twelve communities in the region are at “moderate to critical risk” for EEE, including Acushnet, Easton, Raynham and Taunton in Bristol County.
Spraying is expected to begin Monday, the state Department of Agricultural Resources announced Saturday.
The exact locations where spraying will occur are subject to change and are weather-dependent.
EEE is a rare but serious and potentially fatal disease that can affect people of all ages, the Department of Public Health said. On Aug. 3, DPH announced this year’s first human case of EEE. The victim was identified only as a boy under the age of 18 who was exposed in Plymouth County.
Last year, the state had its most active EEE season since 1956, with 12 human cases and six deaths. As NBC 10 News reported, the virus claimed the life of Laurie Sylvia of Fairhaven.
The pesticide used is called Anvil 10+10, which DPH said does not pose any health risks during or after spraying. Aerial spraying is not expected to have any impacts on surface water or drinking water.
Massachusetts health officials announced the first human case of West Nile virus Friday.