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Public Post is a community reporting initiative using digital tools to report on cities and towns across Vermont.Public Post is the only resource that lets you browse and search documents across dozens of Vermont municipal websites in one place.Follow reporter Amy Kolb Noyes and #PublicPost on Twitter and read news from the Post below.

Mosquito Spraying Planned In Southern Addison County

State of Vermont

Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Harry Chen has ordered aerial spraying, twice in the next five days, aimed at killing mosquitoes carrying the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus.

Dr. Chen released the following statementthis week:

A total of five mosquito pools collected in the swampy area of Whiting in southern Addison County have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus. In 2012, with comparable mosquito findings, there were two human fatalities from EEE in that part of Vermont. Because the risk for EEE will continue for several more weeks until there is a hard frost, I have made a determination of significant public health risk requiring aerial application of pesticide to protect public health. The goal is to reduce the amount of virus by interrupting the bird-mosquito-bird cycle to reduce the risk for human illness.

Weather permitting, aerial spraying of the pesticide Anvil 10+10 (Sumithrin) will occur over a sparsely populated two mile radius, centered around the swampy area north of Stickney Road, in Whiting.  The treatment is planned for Thursday, August 22 and Tuesday, August 27, from dusk to approximately 11 p.m.  If it rains, the spraying could be delayed.

In September 2012, the state conducted aerial spraying over swampy areas in Whiting and Brandon. The state reports the Whiting swamp to be sprayed is the same one that was treated last year, with the same pesticide.

Dr. Chen also commented, “These newest detections only intensify our recommendations to Vermonters to fight the bite, no matter where you live. We can’t kill every mosquito, but targeted spraying may knock back the local population of mosquitoes that are carrying the EEE virus. Spraying could reduce risk of infection, but it’s still important that we all take precautions against mosquito bites.”   

The Health Department is alerting local officials, area residents and health care providers about the spraying operation, and any precautions to take. The State reports adverse health effects to Anvil 10+10 are uncommon, but can include:

  • Nausea, headaches and dizziness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Tremors or tingling and numbness in areas of skin contact
  • Irritation of the eyes, skin, nose, throat or lung
  • Vomiting or central nervous system depression
Amy is an award winning journalist who has worked in print and radio in Vermont since 1991. Her first job in professional radio was at WVMX in Stowe, where she worked as News Director and co-host of The Morning Show. She was a VPR contributor from 2006 to 2020.
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