Mayor Jon Mitchell's office is advising New Bedford residents to close windows Wednesday night due to mosquito spraying that is scheduled to take place beginning at 2 a.m. Thursday, weather permitting.
The spraying is part of an effort to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses, including West Nile, Zila, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis ("Triple E") conducted in conjunction with the New Bedford Health Department and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and carried out by the Bristol County Mosquito Control Project.
The parts of the city that have been targeted for spraying are those that have a high volume of people, and that host public events. These areas are: Downtown, Fort Taber, Pier 3, the Poor Farm area, and the following parks: Ashley, Brooklawn, Buttonwood, Clasky, Hazelwood, and Riverside.
The mayor's office further states that no Zika-carrying mosquitoes have been found in the New Bedford area so far, and that the state Department of Health reports that the likelihood of becoming infected from Zika via a mosquito bite in Massachusetts is very low, residents are still advised to take precautions such as installing screens on windows and doors, wearing long clothing, draining standing water outside, and using insect repellent when venturing outside.