Heidi Porter, town director of health and human services, told the Board of Health Monday that “the conditions have been prime for a really bad season,” including intense heat followed by heavy rain.
“We have done two sprays already,” Porter reported. Larvicide has been deposited in 700 catch basins – an increase of 200 – to thwart breeding in those damp areas. “We have a really good community contractor,” she said. “Hope for the best is all we can do.”
Porter said her department has been carrying out prevention outreach not only about mosquitoes but also ticks. She noted that there was a confirmed West Nile Virus mosquito in Medford.
Two summers ago, after a mosquito-carrying Eastern equine encephalitis was identified within the town boundaries, all evening activities were ended for the fall months. That seemed like a significant hardship — until the arrival of Covid-19.
Porter said she hoped that the conditions allow plans to continue for Bedford Day fireworks on the evening of Sept. 18, centered over the field complex outside John Glenn Middle School.
Food trucks are expected to convene at viewing areas, and “that will be an opportunity for us to do some outreach on hearing protection and bug spray,” Porter told the board.
She said her department is planning a flu shot clinic at the Bedford Day street fair. She is also trying to arrange for one of the state’s mobile Covid vaccine vehicles – the timing may be ideal for younger children still awaiting clearance for vaccinations.
Porter added that “I hope Emerson Hospital will be there to support us with some [Covid] testing because they have been a good partner and it’s a community benefit.”
Mike Rosenberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 781-983-1763