Virginia Beach Public Works announced today that there have been an unusually high number of positive tests for EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) the last four weeks.
The Mosquito Control Biology Lab has been testing certain mosquitoes for EEE using a type of Vec test (field lab test) for the last four weeks.
As of today, there were 5 EEE positive mosquito pools taken from 4 different testing locations. Three of these sites are in Blackwater, and the fourth is on West Neck Road in Pungo.
In addition, there has been one confirmed positive EEE test from a sentinel chicken in Pungo and 3 more pending EEE positive sentinel chickens. The locations of these birds are Indian River Road near Elbow Road, central Blackwater and south Blackwater.
That is a total of 9 positive tests in 2 weeks, which is highly unusual. Normally for a summer season, the average number of positives for EEE for the entire season is 6.
Mosquito Control has increased their spraying program in these affected areas. People who live in these areas or who spend a lot of time outdoors should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites, including:
• Try to minimize outdoor activity around dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active
• Wear long, loose, light colored clothing
• Use an appropriate insect repellant and follow label instructions.
• Get rid of any standing water on your property. This offers a prime breeding area for mosquitoes.
EEE is actually quite rare in humans, but conditions have been prime for it to become a problem this season. Property owners at the trapping sites have been contacted and advised, and lab officials will continue to consult with the other Mosquito Control districts throughout the Hampton Roads region.
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