TEWKSBURY — On Thursday evening, Aug. 29 2019, all Tewksbury school properties were sprayed to reduce the mosquito population due to the threat of mosquito transmitted EEE virus. This application occurred after classes and after school activities had ended and all students had left the properties.
Parents were alerted of the school’s decision to spray in advance via a reversed 911 call from the town.
Concerns for the threat of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE, have grown after mosquitoes tested positive for EEE in nearby areas of Andover, Methuen and Pelham, NH, and a horse in Methuen recently died from the virus.
According to Massachusetts State health officials, there are over 100 Massachusetts communities in the range of moderate, high, and critical risk for EEE virus.
Tewksbury is currently listed at the moderate risk level, prompting school officials to be proactive in eliminating mosquito transmitted spread of this virus.
EEE virus is a rare cause of brain infection and can be fatal, or leave victims with serious complications. Symptoms include fever, headache, irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, and coma.
According to Massachusetts state health officials, there have been four confirmed deaths from EEE in Massachusetts this year.
Athletic directors of the Merrimack Valley Conference, including Tewksbury Athletic Director Ron Drouin, met last Friday and agreed to adjust the fall sport’s schedules to avoid the threat of EEE.
Massachusetts state officials are advising all residents to limit outdoor exposure after sundown, when the risk for mosquito exposure is high.