For the first time in Hampshire and the Hampden counties, the state of Massachusetts sprayed against the mosquito-borne disease EEE.
The State Department of Public Health will be airborne spraying in Brimfield, Palmer and Ware this week.
Joshua Miller, Health Director of the Palmer Board of Health, said it was important for residents to continue taking precautionary measures to avoid being bitten.
"The goal of spraying is to really try to put down the numbers, but it will not be able to eliminate the risk in its entirety," he said.
Catherine Brown, the state epidemiologist, said the department had decided to act in nearby Brookfield after a diagnosis of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) had been made to a horse.
"And then we located additional mosquitoes in the area and identified EEE-infected mosquitoes that can transmit the virus to humans," said Brown.
Nine communities in Worcester County are also sprayed.
Brown said that most cases of human electrical and electronic equipment usually occur in August and September, while there was a case at the end of October. She said the risk persists until the first harsh frost, which means that the temperature drops below 28 degrees for at least three hours.
According to the CDC, there were more cases of WEEE in the state of Florida between 2009 and 2018 than in Massachusetts.
"That's because of the concentration of the habitat type we have in southeastern Massachusetts that actually generates EEE activity and then somehow can be transferred to other parts of the state," Brown said.
The state said that the insecticide sprayed is anvil 10 + 10. One key ingredient is sumithrin, which, according to the EPA, "can be used for public health programs to control mosquitoes without posing an undue risk to human health when applied as labeled."
State works to avoid another false alarm
The State Department of Public Health previously said the city of Granby is exposed to a critical risk for electrical and electronic equipment.
That's because a horse whose owner lived in Granby tested positive. However, according to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, the animal was actually housed in Connecticut.
"I can assure everyone that neither of us wants this to happen again, so we continue to make sure that we really ask people carefully about the location of the potential exposure," Brown said.
According to the new information, the state said Granby's EEE risk, like that of Belchertown, Ludlow, Chicopee and South Hadley, had fallen to a moderate level.