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Ipswich Local News
IPSWICH — The town “will be taking immediate action after two pools of mosquitos in the area of Heartbreak Road tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV),” town officials have said.
It follows the infection earlier this month of a resident in their 70s, according to a statement from town manager Tony Marino and health director Colleen Fermon.
Tests of mosquitos caught in traps placed last week discovered WNV in two species of mosquitos that are known to bite people and other mammals — Ae. Cx. salinarius and Ps. ferox.
As a result, roadside spraying will take place on Thursday, Sept. 23, from 7:15 to 9:15 p.m. This “block area ultra low volume adulticiding” aims to reduce the mosquito population.
“Block area” application of pesticides includes the use of a Zenivex E4RTU spray that travels about 150 feet on either side of the spraying truck as it drives down public roads shortly after sunset. The spray only lasts about 15 minutes before dissipating and leaving no residuals behind.
The targeted area for spraying will be Essex Road to County Road to Argilla Road up to Russell Orchard, to Northgate Road and back to Essex Road. All streets along this route will get sprayed.
To view the route the truck will take, click here. Residents in these areas are advised to stay inside until around 9:15 p.m.
Additional larviciding of freshwater wetlands and flooded areas will be conducted. This will reduce the hatching of flying mosquitoes in the weeks to come. A bacterial larvicide containing Bti that targets only mosquito larvae will be used.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) elevated Ipswich to a moderate-risk level for human infection earlier this month after an Ipswich resident tested positive for WNV. That infection was the first known case of WNV in Ipswich this year.
The discovery of the pools of infected mosquitos will not cause the risk level to be elevated.
Mosquitoes are most prevalent from May to August, but remain active until there has been a hard frost — defined as two consecutive hours of temperatures below 28 degrees Fahrenheit, or three hours below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, mosquito bites in the state typically result in skin irritation and itching.
However, serious diseases, including West Nile, also are spread by mosquitoes in rare instances. These viruses can cause illness ranging from a mild fever to more serious disease like encephalitis or meningitis.
West Nile virus was first detected in the United States in 1999. Since the majority of those exposed to West Nile virus have no symptoms, it’s difficult to identify exactly how many people have been infected. Only those who develop severe illnesses with West Nile virus are often reported.
The town of Ipswich encourages residents to follow these tips provided by the DPH:
The town of Ipswich also wishes to share the following tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
More advice for parents, guardians and caregivers of babies and children:
Massachusetts DPH risk maps for WNV may be found here.
For more information on larviciding and adulticiding, click here.
For more information on Zenivex E4RTU, click here.
Ipswich Local News
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