If you’re like me, you’ve been waiting for the first frost of the season. Usually I don’t mind the summer’s warm weather spilling into my Autumn, but this year the first frost can’t come fast enough. Maybe you’ve guessed why I’m so ready for the cold? When temperature drops below 32 degrees, we have passed the threat of EEE. Or so we thought. Although Friday night’s chilly temperatures brought our first frost of the season, the meteorologist at WBZ says we need “several successive frosty nights or more particularly, a freeze” to kill mosquitoes.
It sounds like we’re not out of the woods yet. So today, let’s talk about how to keep us protected from EEE. Most of us are aware that the Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus is carried to humans by infected mosquitoes. The EEEV can cause inflammation of the brain. Symptoms include headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting.Although there is no cure for EEE, the CDC has some preventative measures that we should be taking.
- Use insect repellent with one of the active ingredients being
- Oil of lemon Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
- Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants
- Take steps to control mosquitoes inside and out.
- Use screens on windows
- Be sure to empty and scrub things that hold water.
I would also suggest coming in from outside before dusk to reduce your exposure to mosquitoes. The administration at NSCS encourages you to spray your children with bug spray before you send them to school. We have bottles of bug spray in the office available if you forget to apply at home.
Weather producer Terry Eliasen at WBZ tells us that there is no “hard freeze” forecast in the next 7 days. So, we should continue to be vigilant protecting ourselves against mosquitoes.
But when that freeze does come, we can relax from the threat of EEE. However, we cannot let our guard down because the flu virus is now upon us! In addition to getting the vaccine, every year, the CDC recommends a few tips to prevent the flu.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your mouth and nose especially when sneezing and coughing
- Washyour hands
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and moth
I have to smile when I read the flu virus prevention tips. For two years I worked in the preschool at NSCS on the Beverly campus. We would go over these rules with the preschoolers weekly: prompting them to cover their mouth with their arm when they cough, ensuring they washed their hands before lunch, after recess and after using the bathroom, and reminding them to keep their fingers out of their noses and their faces at least a foot apart. Maybe it’s true what they say, everything we need to know we learned in Kindergarten.