WEST NEWBURY — The discovery of West Nile virus last week in mosquitoes in Newburyport has prompted health authorities here to order target spraying for this week.
Health agent Paul Sevigny reported that spraying will occur during the evening hours today or tomorrow, weather permitting. Areas targeted for spraying are Way To The River Road, Chase Street, Middle Street, Indian Hill Street, South Street and everything to the east of those roads.
This marks the third spraying in town within the past 40 days. In late August, after news that a mosquito tested positive for West Nile virus in Newburyport and Eastern equine encephalitis was found in another insect in Merrimac, the health board conducted spraying in parts of West Newbury as a precautionary measure. The areas sprayed at that time were similar to the ones targeted for spraying this week.
Then after a mosquito infected with the virus was detected in the Mill Pond Recreation Area in early September, the health board conducted another targeted spray, this time in the Mill Pond area and surrounding roads, as well as the Pentucket Regional High and Middle schools and the Page Elementary School.
Residents who reside outside the area targeted for the planned spraying who wish to have their properties included may contact the health department. There is no cost for the additional spraying, but Sevigny notes that the availability of the service is dependent on weather, time of year and other factors.