After mosquitoes test positive for EEE, Groton Parks and Rec restricts evening use of fields

Groton — With the announcement Tuesday that mosquitoes in Groton have tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis, Groton Parks & Recreation said Wednesday that it is canceling any previously approved use of fields after 6:30 p.m., until it decides it is safe.

The EEE virus can cause serious illness affecting the brain, the state Department of Public Health has said. The disease is fatal in 25 percent to 50 percent of cases and many people who survive suffer from lasting health problems. Symptoms include high fever, headache, stiff neck and decreased consciousness, and anyone with these symptoms should contact their physician immediately, DPH has said, though no human vaccine or specific antiviral treatment for clinical EEE virus infections are available. 

Health districts have advised residents in towns where EEE has been detected to avoid outdoor activities from one hour before to one hour after both dawn and dusk.

"We will make every effort to reschedule previously scheduled games and practices," Groton Parks & Recreation said in its Facebook notice. "We realize that this will greatly affect many practices and games, but ask for your help in conveying the message that it is a wise decision to protect the health of our community."

The notice also said that "The Town of Groton administration, Town Council and Groton Public Schools have discussed the notice from Ledge Light Health District and determined that it is in the best interest of protecting the health of the community to limit exposure to mosquitoes by restricting evening activities to end by 6:30 pm daily."

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