Mosquito Spraying Incomplete

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As the sun went down Thursday night, the Vermont Health Department began aerial spraying to control mosquitoes in parts of Rutland and Addison counties.

But Vermont Health Commissioner Harry Chen says the spraying was called off due to unsafe flying conditions.

Chen says they hope to finish the job this evening, but plans have yet to be finalized.

The pesticide spraying is intended to kill mosquitoes that transmit eastern equine encephalitis. Two people in that part of the state have been infected with EEE. One man died of the brain infection this week.

Erica Berl is an infectious disease epidemiologist with the Vermont Department of Health. 

She says that the pesticides are not harmful to mammals. But, she says, the state is recommending that people and their pets stay indoors during the spraying.

"The spraying that we’re doing is really important part of trying to reduce the risk of EEE in those areas," says Berl. "But it’s still very important for people to protect themselves from mosquito bites."

After the spraying entomologists from the Agency of Agriculture will go out and count mosquitoes to see if numbers are down. Berl says, depending on what’s found, more spraying in the area may be needed. 

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