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No more aerial spraying planned - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

No more aerial spraying planned

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RUTLAND, Vt. -

"The risk has always been low but there is a risk and people should be aware,"  said Patsy Kelso, the State Epidemiologist for Infectious Disease.

Kelso says despite the spraying over a week ago, people should still take precautions when going outside and not just in the Brandon and Whiting area. "We're not just concerned about a couple towns, this is potentially state wide," she said.

While the risk of contracting the virus for humans is very low, Gary Meffe, an Insect Control District Specialist, says the risk will linger until the weather changes. "The numbers have come down quite a bit with the spraying, and they're continuing to go down with the colder nighttime temperatures," he said. "There may be no need to do any further spraying simply because fall and winter are coming."

Both Meffe and Kelso agree there's no way of knowing yet if or when the virus carrying species will be back in Vermont next year. "We could see eastern equine next year in a whole different part of Vermont or we could see it in the same place, or we might not see it for several years. It's impossible to know," Kelso said.  "It could be the beginning of a trend. We don't know. And the thing with EEE is that your risk is very small, but the consequences of contracting it can be very large."

Though the experts say the spraying was both needed and effective, not everyone agrees.

"I don't think it was worth it. I think there were only two cases, and I think it's serious but there are other things out there where there are two cases but it's not a state wide response to it," said Hannah Davidson, an organic farmer.

But most people WCAX spoke with said the pros outweighed the cons. Right now they're focusing less on the spraying and more on helping the family of the man still hospitalized with the virus.

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