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Public Post is a community reporting initiative using digital tools to report on cities and towns across Vermont.Public Post is the only resource that lets you browse and search documents across dozens of Vermont municipal websites in one place.Follow reporter Amy Kolb Noyes and #PublicPost on Twitter and read news from the Post below.

EEE Found In Grand Isle Mosquitoes

The Vermont Department of Health has found its first batch of mosquitoes of the year carrying the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus. The virus was detected in mosquitoes trapped in Grand Isle on June 17, making this the earliest detection of EEE in the Northeast as well as the first detection of the virus in Grand Isle County.

So far this year, the state has tested over 300 batches of mosquitoes and this is the first instance of EEE. Last year two horses from Franklin County and a batch of mosquitoes in Milton tested positive for the virus.

"This reminds us that although the mosquitoes have been biting for weeks, the risk for getting sick starts to increase right about now." - Erica Berl, state infectious disease epidemiologist

“This reminds us that although the mosquitoes have been biting for weeks, the risk for getting sick starts to increase right about now,” State Infectious Disease Epidemiologist Erica Berl said in a Vermont Department of Health announcement.

The Department of Health noted both West Nile Virus (WNV) and EEE have been detected in many Vermont counties in recent years. It recommends taking the following precautions to avoid mosquito bites:

  • Weather permitting, wear long sleeves and pants and avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn – when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Reduce mosquito breeding habitats by getting rid of standing water. Drain areas where water can pool: rain gutters, wading pools and any other water-holding containers such as old tires.
  • If you are outside when mosquitoes are biting, use an effective insect repellent. Choose repellents that have an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registration number on the label. This indicates that the product has been evaluated for safety and effectiveness. Repellents that contain no more than 30 percent DEET are safe and effective for children and adults. When using insect repellent, always follow the directions on the label. EPA has a tool that will help you search for a repellent that is right for you. Go to epa.gov, use the A-Z listing to find ‘insect repellents.’
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
  • Protect your animals. Horses are susceptible to WNV and EEE infection, and there are effective vaccines available. Llamas, alpacas and emus are also susceptible and can be immunized with the horse vaccine.
  • Contact your health care provider if you have questions about your health or need medical attention.
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