Mosquito Hot Zones
Special Report: Mosquito Hot Zones
"He had the biggest smile and it was contagious," John Joyce said.
"He loved working outdoors," Debbie Joyce said.
For Holbrook teen Sean Joyce, golf and little league baseball were his life.
"He was going to be a good golfer, and we think he was a pretty good baseball player," John Joyce said.
Last summer, Sean's life came to an end. He was infected with eastern equine encephalitis, or triple EEE, by a mosquito carrying the virus.
"It just took him over, took him over," Debbie said.
"He had so much to offer, that is the saddest thing of all. He had so much to give this world," John said.
Sean was one of four people in Massachusetts who caught the disease last year.
Right now, scientists at the department of public health are trapping and testing mosquitoes for triple EEE. They're concerned it's on the rise.
"Last year there were four unique cases and usually the second of a two year cycle is worse," Dr. Alfred Demaria, of the Mass Department of Public Health, said.
Although scientists have yet to find any mosquitoes carrying EEE or West Nile Virus this year, it may be only a matter of time.
7News asked the experts, and they told us where those mosquito hot zones are. Some places will be worse than others will.
"We know the virus, at least eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), tends to start in this area," Wayne Andrews of Bristol County Mosquito Control said.
This is ground zero for mosquitoes carrying the virus in Massachusetts, the Hockomock swamp.
"It just doesn't stay here, it moves out quite a ways," Andrews said.
That makes Norton, Raynham, Taunton, Easton and Bridgewater mosquito hot zones.
The phones are ringing off the hook in Bristol and Plymouth counties, where the Hockomock lies.
Authorities are also spraying five days a week.
"We're a little backlogged, but we're out there and we're getting it done," Robert Thorndike of the Plymouth County Mosquito Control said.
Other hot zones are Middleborough, Carver and New Bedford.
"The summer ones that are emerging right now bite all day long," John Smith said.
Along with swamps, mosquitoes love rivers and streams. So these towns with rivers running through them are hot zones.
Norwood and Canton, Medfield and Millis, Bedford and Sudbury.
"We use trapping to try and act as an early warning," Smith said.
Even if your miles from these towns, the EEE virus can turn up randomly.
To lower your risk, experts recommend the following:
- Remove standing water from around your home.
- Repair all screens on windows and doors.
- Wear long sleeves and pants when going in wooded areas.
- Use mosquito repellant with DEET.
"The last thing he told me was he told me that he loved me, and he hugged me, so he knew I was there," Deborah Joyce said.
Something so small, that everyone has experienced can be devastating.
For more information, click on the link below.
To donate to the Sean R. Joyce memorial/scholarship fund:
Holbrook Co-Operative Bank
C/o Sean Joyce memorial/scholarship fund
95 North Franklin St.
Holbrook, MA 02343-0304