Thursday, August 15, 2013

Town Issues Updated Eastern Equine Encephalitis Advisory

For Immediate Release

Contact:  John Musante, Town Manager (413) 259-3002

                 Julie Federman, Health Director (413) 259-3077

(August 13, 2013)  Our community has been identified by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) to be at “High” risk for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), a rare but very serious disease transmitted through the bite of a very specific species of nighttime mosquito.  Town Manager John Musante and Health Director Julie Federman today urged Amherst residents to limit evening outdoor activities and take common sense precautions. 

Due to this situation, we have decided in consultation with town staff, DPH and the MA Mosquito Advisory Group to restrict outdoor activities in Town-owned parks, conservation areas (including Puffers Pond) and recreation areas from dusk to dawn when the mosquitoes that transmit the disease are active. This does not affect activities during daylight hours.

When going out after dusk and later, residents are advised to wear long sleeves, long pants, socks, and insect repellant, and to avoid areas where mosquitoes are prevalent such as swamps, fields, the Norwottuck Rail Trail and low lying areas.  At home, make sure your doors and windows have screens.

Information on how to choose and use a repellant safely are on the Town of Amherst website at . You can learn more about how to protect yourself at

Town staff will work closely with our partners to monitor changing environmental conditions and plan to provide regular updates in the coming weeks.

This ban will be lifted when we have the first frost which kills adult mosquitoes.