Town of Sudbury EEE Risk Elevated to Critical After Positive Test in 5-Year-Old Girl

Published September 6, 2019 | Police Department | Automatically Archived on 9/21/2019

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Sudbury Town Officials will address the media at the Sudbury Police Department, 75 Hudson Road at 6 p.m.

SUDBURY — The Town of Sudbury reports that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has elevated the risk for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) to “critical” after a 5-year-old girl tested positive for the virus.

The Town is following Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidelines and advises all residents to strongly consider cancelling or rescheduling any planned outdoor activities between dusk and dawn until further notice.

A positive EEE test in a human automatically raises the threat level for EEE to “critical” in a community. The girl is being treated at an area hospital and is in critical condition. Public Health officials are actively investigating the origins of the Sudbury resident’s infection.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the EEE virus is a rare but serious cause of brain infections and other neurological problem. EEE causes very few human cases each year but can be fatal. The risk of infection is highest among individuals under the age of 15 and over the age of 50.

The Sudbury Health Department is working in close collaboration with the East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project to determine the times and locations where spraying will take place. Mosquito spraying will be conducted town wide on Monday and Tuesday evening (weather permitting).

Spraying will first target school grounds, parks and fields, and will be completed over the course of next week. Sudbury streets will be sprayed by Tuesday evening, weather permitting.

The two products being sprayed are Mavrik Perimeter, which will be applied via backpack sprayers at schools and fields, and Anvil 10+10 will also be applied using a truck mounted sprayer along town roadways. To read the safety data sheet for Mavrik Perimeter, click here. To read the safety data sheet for Anvil 10+10, click here.

Effective immediately, all Town of Sudbury and, Lincoln-Sudbury and Sudbury Public Schools’ outdoor evening activities are cancelled. Outdoor activities should conclude by 7:15 p.m. through the week of Sept. 8-14 and 15 minutes earlier each successive week until the first hard frost.

Both the Sudbury Public Schools and Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School will be sending letters home to parents detailing their response plans.

The Sudbury Health Department strongly urges members of the community to adhere to the following safety tips from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health:

Avoid Mosquito Bites

  • Limit outdoor activities during peak mosquito hours. Consider cancelling or rescheduling planned outdoor evening events and activities. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. If you are outdoors at any time and notice mosquitoes around you, take steps to avoid being bitten by moving indoors, covering up and/or wearing repellent.
  • Clothing can help reduce mosquito bites. Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing long sleeves, long pants and socks while outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
  • Apply insect repellent if you do go outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET, permethrin, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30 percent or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age. Permethrin products are intended for use on items such as clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear and should not be applied directly to your skin.

Mosquito-Proof Your Home

  • Drain standing water. Many mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or getting rid of items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools and change water in birdbaths frequently.
  • Install or repair window and door screens: Some mosquitoes like to come indoors. Keep them outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

Information about EEE and reports of current and historical EEE virus activity in Massachusetts can be found on the MDPH website here.