Important Information about EEE (9.7.19 Letter from Health Services)

 

Dear Weston Families,

I am writing to you tonight with a very important message. Today, Weston’s Board of Health issued a notification that the EEE risk level has been raised to moderate.

Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is a rare but serious disease caused by a virus that can affect people of all ages. EEE is generally spread to humans through the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus. EEE can cause severe illness and possibly lead to death in any age group; however, people under the age of 15 are at particular risk. EEE does not occur every year, but based on the mosquito sampling, a moderate risk of occurrence of human cases currently exists. The types of mosquitoes most likely to transmit EEE infection are most active between the hours of dusk, the time period between when the sun sets and it gets completely dark, and dawn, the time before the appearance of good sun light in the morning.

It has been recommended for people in communities at critical, high and moderate risk for EEE to take personal precautions against mosquito bites. Therefore, Weston Public Schools will be canceling all outdoor activities in the hours from dusk to dawn for the next month and until we get the first killing frost. There will be no before-school recess at all elementary schools and no activities outside after 6 pm in the evening hours. Michael McGrath, Director of Athletics, will be ending all outdoor athletic activities and practices by 6:00 pm. Specific details regarding changes to the Middle School and High School athletic schedules will be forthcoming from the Athletic Department.

Along with staying indoors during dusk and dawn, other steps families can take to reduce the risk of EEE include using EPA-approved bug spray, wearing long sleeves and pants while outdoors, covering garbage cans, removing bird baths, and discarding auto tires or other containers that hold water.

For more information on EEE risk visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website at www.mosquitoresults.com. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you.

Laurie Melchionda M.Ed., BSN, RN
Director of Health Services
melchiondal@weston.org
781-786-5265