NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) – A dead bird has tested positive for EEE near Buttonwood Park in New Bedford, according to city officials.
City officials said the bird tested positive on Aug. 23. This is the latest in a series of positive EEE tests in New Bedford, prompting the Greater New Bedford area’s the risk level to be raised to “critical.”
In response to the recent findings and seriousness of this virus, the City of New Bedford recently set a curfew for parks and other public spaces, closing them at dusk from now through Sept. 13.
City officials said the closures will be reevaluated at that time. To combat the threat, there will also be ground spraying each Friday and Tuesday between 2 a.m. and sunrise, with state aerial spraying to accompany that.
The most recent ground spraying was focused on Buttonwood Park, Brooklawn Park, Fort Taber, Hazelwood Park, Riverside Park, Clasky Common Park, Ashley Park, the Poor Farm area, Custom House Square and downtown.
Tuesday morning will focus on the North End, including near the airport and Sassaquin Pond.
Health officials suggest taking precautions against mosquito bites, including:
- Be aware of peak mosquito hours – which are dusk to dawn – and consider rescheduling events.
- Wear long-sleeves, long pants and socks, when outdoors.
- Apply insect repellent with DEET, Permethrin, picaridin, IR3535, or lemon eucalyptus oil.
- Mosquito-proof your home by draining standing water and installing or fixing screens.