The Town of Weymouth is rescheduling outdoor evening activities and recommends residents to use bug repellent after an 85-year-old resident died of EEE Friday.
The Town today cancelled the outdoor summer movie on Lane Beach, scheduled for Thursday night after they confirmed that the woman died from the deadly virus caused by a mosquito bite.
Due to the EEE Case, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has increased the risk level in Weymouth to “High,” according to Daniel McCormack, the town’s Director of Public Health.
McCormack said the MDPH recommended rescheduling outdoor activities during dusk to dawn hours.
“The town is currently in discussions with all appropriate departments, youth groups and at risk populations to ensure we are doing as much as possible to protect our residents from mosquitos,” McCormack said in a written statement. “At this time we do not have the specific restricted hours. “
An 85 year old resident from Weymouth was taken to South Shore Hospital early last week presenting symptoms such as fever and headache and died Friday.
CBS Boston reported the woman was identified as Janet Dignan of Weymouth. Dignan had lived in Weymouth for 59 years and leaves four sons, according to her obituary. She had worked for more than 20 years for the financial firm Standish Ayer & Wood in Boston.
After her death, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Epidemiology office was notified and launched an investigation because of her symptoms.
On Monday, the MDPH reported to the town of Weymouth Health Department with a negative result for EEE Serum test; however, late Tuesday afternoon, the MDPH subsequently notified the Health Department that further testing showed positive for EEE, the Town of Weymouth confirmed.
This is the first reported human case of EEE in Massachusetts this year.
No mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile Virus or EEE, according to the Town Hall.
In spite of the negative test results and the ongoing investigation as to where the individual may have been bitten and contracted the disease, the Norfolk County Mosquito Program will be placing and monitoring an additional mosquito test pool n the area where the resident lived, according to a statement release by the Town Hall. They will also be conducting additional spraying throughout Weymouth over the next several days as a precaution.
The Town advises residents to take the following precautions to avoid mosquito bites:
- Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours - The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes.
- Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning. Otherwise, take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing.
- Clothing Can Help reduce mosquito bites. Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
- Apply Insect Repellent when you go outdoors.
- Use a repellent with DEET.