One day after a human case of Eastern equine encephalitis was confirmed in Amesbury, abutting communities moved quickly to protect residents and children by banning outdoor activities on public properties.
Officials in Newburyport and Salisbury joined Amesbury in imposing a ban, effective immediately, on all organized activities on public property from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. until further notice.
Merrimac officials banned town and school-sponsored outdoor activities from dusk to dawn and in West Newbury, a ban was enacted from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 a.m.
Outdoor restrictions remain in effect in Newbury and Georgetown as well.
In addition, Salisbury officials contacted Northeast Massachusetts Mosquito Control to schedule a round of insecticide spraying on Monday night from 7 to midnight, weather permitting, the town’s health agent, Jack Morris, said.
“With spraying, a lot depends on the prevailing winds, temperature and rain,” Morris said.
Spraying was to be conducted last night in Amesbury and earlier this week in both Newburyport and Georgetown as well. No spraying is currently planned elsewhere.
On Wednesday, the state Department of Public Health confirmed an Amesbury woman in her 60s near Merrimac was diagnosed with EEE. That diagnosis followed Monday’s news that a Georgetown man in his 70s had also contracted EEE. Both people were reported to be hospitalized and undergoing treatment for the rare, but serious virus.