With new viruses starting everyday, it is hard to know when it is safe to do anything anymore. Equestrian Encephalitis (Triple E) is an airborne virus that first affected humans in 2013, but has been making horses, donkeys and zebras sick since 1831. The virus has recently resurfaced in New England with three total deaths. This past month in New England there have been 12 more cases, especially in the Massachusetts area. Connecticut has recommended curfews at dusk and dawn to prevent more outbreaks.
Like most schools, Woodland has taken measures to make the school grounds safe. According to Tony DiLeone, Director of Finance and Business Operations, mosquito spraying called Talstar Professional Pesticide is used to kill and repel mosquitoes away from Woodland. On September 27, 2019 Michael Yamin, superintendent of Region 16, released a post on Schoology informing the community that Orkin Pest Control will spray all of the schools in Region 16.
Kurt Ogren, principal at Woodland Regional High School, reacted quickly to the recent outbreaks for Woodland’s safety.
“I had never really heard of Triple E before this year, but some people have died,” said Ogren.
“I believe it’s been found in 21 different towns in Connecticut. And it’s as close as Bethany, so we want to treat it with an abundance of caution.”
One way Woodland is proceeding with caution is not allowing sports teams to practice after 5:30 pm.
“It may only be for a couple weeks,” says Principal Ogren, “we’ll be back to normal schedule after the first heavy frost. But I think anything you could do, like adding an extra layer of clothing for safety, is a good idea.”
According to USA Today News, no active mosquitoes have been found in Prospect or Beacon Falls. However, many neighboring towns have had mosquitoes test positive for EEE.
“I had never really heard of Triple E before this year, but some people have died.” – Kurt Ogren.
Towns that have had mosquitoes test positive for EEE in CT are Plainfield, Shelton, Madison, Voluntown, North stonington, Stonington, Chester, Haddam, Killigworth, Lyme, East Lyme, Salem, South Windsor, Groton, and Ledyar.
So far, there is no medical treatment for Triple E affected victims. It is important to stay safe by wearing bug spray with active ingredients such as N-N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, (DEET), Picaridin and lemon with eucalyptus oil. The state of Connecticut recommends wearing protective clothing when possible, such as long sleeves and pants.