Workers in Boston, US spray aerosol insecticides to tackle EEE virus

Workers in the US city of Boston are spraying aerosol insecticides at night to combat the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus.

A second case of the virus, which is carried by mosquitos, has been recorded during laboratory testing by the state Department of Public Health. The department confirmed that the infection was found in a man between the ages of 19 and 30 – the second human case in the state of Massachusetts in 2019.

Spraying has taken place in selected neighbourhoods in Boston. Brian Farless, superintendent of the East Middlesex and Suffolk County Mosquito Control Projects told the Boston Herald: “We haven’t had cases of EEE in Boston in humans or mosquitoes. We’re just spraying to knock down the high populations of mosquitoes we find in traps we have throughout the city.”

Truck-mounted aerosol sprayers containing a formula with the pesticide sumithrin are being used throughout the city. According to Farless, residents don’t need to take special precautions, but they should minimise their exposure to the pesticide. Although the spraying was preventative, Farless said it was a good opportunity to remind people to wear an Environmental Protection Agency-registered mosquito repellent and to empty containers of water that may be sitting outside.

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