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The original item was published from 10/1/2019 3:12:00 PM to 10/1/2019 3:13:42 PM.

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Posted on: September 26, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Eastern Equine Encephalitis found in Union County


Please be advised: Due to recent confirmed human cases and a positive mosquito sample of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, Union County Mosquito Control is planning to treat sections of Summit adjacent to Watchung Reservation and the Passaic River corridor by helicopter application on Wednesday, October 2, 2019, between the hours of 7PM and 10PM, weather permitting. Residents who live in these areas and their pets are advised to remain indoors during this specified time period.

According to Union County Mosquito Control Bureau Chief Ralph Strano: “These public health efforts are necessary to knock down potential bridge vector mosquito species in the area, documented through our mosquito surveillance efforts, while further reducing the threat of disease transmission.”

Temperature plays a critical role in mosquito activity and weather conditions need to be suitable for the aerial spraying to occur. Please check the Union County website for further information, including contact numbers for residents to call with questions.

There are five other municipalities involved in this operation: Berkeley Heights, Mountainside, New Providence, Scotch Plains and Springfield. 

From September 2019:

During routine testing, the Union County Bureau of Mosquito Control found that a mosquito pool in Union County has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).  Please read the message below from the Westfield Regional Health Officer:

“Even though a mosquito was found, the Union County Bureau of Mosquito Control is spraying diligently.  They have been looking for and testing mosquitoes all season and will continue to aggressively spray throughout the county, particularly areas most prone to heavy mosquito populations and schools.”

EEE is a rare but serious disease caused by a virus that can effect people of all ages.  It is generally spread to humans through the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus and can cause severe illness and possibly lead to death in any age group; however, people under the age of 15 are at particular risk.

You can take personal precautions against mosquito bites by staying indoors during dusk and dawn.  Other steps families can take to reduce the risk of EEE include using EPA-approved bug spray, wearing long sleeves and pants while outdoors, and eliminating sources of standing water, such as containers and bird baths.

For more information on EEE visit the NJ Department of Health website at and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s webpage at

Residents can also contact the health department at 908-789-4070 for more information.

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