Aerial Spraying Effective but EEE Remains a Concern

For Immediate Release: Sept. 17, 2012
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
802-863-7281

BURLINGTON –  Aerial spraying of mosquito pesticide in Brandon and Whiting last week was effective, reducing by nearly half the number of mosquitoes captured in traps that are carriers of Eastern Equine Enchepalitis (EEE), according to officials from the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.

The pesticide Anvil 10+10 (Sumithrin) was sprayed over two 16-mile grids centered around Whiting and Brandon on the evenings of Sept. 6 and 7.

Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD said that while the risk of EEE infection in Vermont has been reduced, there is no way to kill enough mosquitoes so that EEE will no longer pose a health risk in Vermont.

“EEE is present, not just in Whiting and Brandon, but it is most likely statewide, and everyone should continue to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites until after the first hard frost,” Dr. Chen said.

The Agency of Agriculture and Department of Health, in conjunction with key partners in the mosquito control districts as well as elsewhere across the state, will utilize all information and data collected this year to help build the mosquito surveillance and response program for 2013 and beyond, said Agency of Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross.

Steve Parise, an agricultural production specialist with the Agency of Agriculture, also visited two commercial bee yards in the Whiting spray area this weekend.

“The bees were actively foraging, and I observed no unusual behavior or bee mortality,” Parise said.

All Vermonters should continue to take the following actions to protect themselves from mosquito bites and risk of infection from EEE and West Nile virus: 

For more information go to www.healthvermont.gov, or dial 2-1-1.

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