mosquito (copy)

Officials are urging area residents to take precautions against mosquitoes.

Some Attleboro area communities have rescheduled outdoor activities in response to mosquito virus fears.

A few area high school football games have had their dates or times changed because of the growing risk of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE).

State health officials have advised the rescheduling or canceling of evening outdoor activities because mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn.

Seekonk and Dighton-Rehoboth have moved their football games Friday night to 6:30 instead of 7 p.m.

Attleboro High School’s football game Saturday has been moved to 2 p.m. at Milford, and the Friday night, Sept. 20 home game has been moved to Saturday, Sept. 21 at 2 p.m.

The North Attleboro-Bishop Feehan football game has been moved from 7 to 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20.

Due to concerns about EEE in Rhode Island, Mixed Magic Theatre in Pawtucket has moved two evening concerts scheduled this weekend on its outdoor stage to its mainstage indoor venue at 560 Mineral Spring Ave.

Rehoboth had moved a recent outdoor concert to an earlier time as well.

Schools in Marlboro have moved all recess and physical education classes indoors. City officials had already put restrictions on outdoor activities in place, ending all activities by 7 p.m.

Oliver Ames, Brockton, Middleboro and Freetown also aren’t playing Friday night football games because of EEE.

Bridgewater-Raynham is requiring all outdoor games to begin before 4 p.m.

And Old Colony High School in Rochester has closed its wooded cross-country courses and mandated student-athletes wait indoors for rides home.

EEE is a rare but serious illness spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. While EEE can infect people of all ages, people under 15 or over 50 years of age are at the greatest risk for serious illness. The virus has already proven deadly. A Fairhaven woman died from the virus last month and just this past weekend a West Warwick, R.I. man died from EEE.

There have been a total of seven human cases of EEE in Massachusetts, including a 5-year-old girl from Sudbury who is said to be improving.

Also, eight horses have contacted EEE in Massachusetts as well as a goat in Norton.

With the mosquito virus situation the worst it’s been in years, and with the first frost nowhere in sight, the state is planning to spray for the insects in numerous communities in three counties, including four Attleboro area towns in Norfolk County.

Foxboro, Wrentham, Norfolk and Franklin are scheduled to be aerial sprayed into next week. Areas slated to be sprayed are considered at critical and high risk for EEE.

Norfolk and Franklin are entirely in the spray zone while Foxboro and Wrentham are partly in the zone.

As weather conditions permit, plans for subsequent rounds of spraying will include critical and high-risk communities in other counties, including Bristol County, officials said.

Many of those communities have already been sprayed. Another mosquito virus, West Nile Virus, which also can pose serious health problems, has been found in Attleboro and Seekonk.

Residents are encouraged to visit the DPH website at www.mass.gov/eee for the latest updates on spraying in their communities and other information.

Stephen Peterson can be reached at 508-236-0377.

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