SUDBURY, Mass. - At Monday night's Sudbury school committee meeting - the first order of business was addressing concerns about EEE.
"All of our hearts are heavy around this table this evening, one our own has been afflicted with EEE virus and here in Sudbury we are a family," said Lisa Kouchakdjian of the Sudbury School Committee.
"It's rare and it's very serious," added Bill Murphy, the Sudbury Town Health Director.
It was revealed late last week that a five-year-old girl from the town is suffering from the disease and is in critical condition at a Boston hospital.
"I have grandchildren that age and it's just frightening," said Kathleen Wyman of Sudbury. "I thank God it will dissipate, and all the right measures are happening so that should be ok."
The school committee and town officials had an emergency meeting over the weekend. They decided on several measures to prevent further spread of the disease including spraying the entire town.
That spraying started Monday at dusk and, weather permitting, should be finished late Tuesday night. And they targeted certain areas.
"The species that we are concerned about really live in the vegetation and the trees, they don't live on the grass, they don’t breed on the grass," Murphy said. "It's not effective to blanket pesticides on the fields, you really want to get it up about 300 feet out and around."
Like many towns in critical risk areas, all outside events from dusk to dawn are being canceled.
Parents are being advised to make sure to apply insect repellent before their children leave for school in the morning – but check the label as most won't last an entire school day.
So the school department recommends parents pack some with their children, but not sprays; they recommend wipes or lotions.
"With the towelettes, they are easier for students to manage," said Brad Crozier, the Sudbury superintendent.
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