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Topsfield Fair Organizers Prepare To Combat EEE Threat

TOPSFIELD (CBS)- It's already ticket buying time for the upcoming Topsfield Fair, and the timing has fair-goers thinking ahead. "I will definitely use bug spray and wear long sleeves and pants," said Denise LeBlanc.

That's because the EEE threat was raised to high in the town on Wednesday, following the news of a 9th case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a man in his seventies from nearby Manchester By The Sea.

It prompted town officials in Topsfield to reach out to fair organizers about thinking ahead as well for the fair that starts in two weeks. "We are planning to spray as an extra precaution, avoid standing water, and things like that," said fair spokesman David Thompson.

Topsfield Fair
Topsfield Fair (WBZ-TV)

Outdoor sports and activities have already been eliminated from dusk to dawn. Topsfield Fire Chief Jennifer Collins-Brown says EEE discussions began long before the latest case, and now they'll be closely watching the fair which attracts thousands of visitors. "We'll use the same caution with fair-goers making sure they follow the CDC guidelines for protection of themselves."

Because the victim worked in several surrounding communities in Essex County, it's not clear where he was bitten adding to the uncertainty and increasing the vigilance.  "We have no confirmation of mosquitoes in the town, but we'll continue to monitor that and beef up testing of mosquitoes because the person was infected even though we don't know where," said Manchester By The Sea town administrator Gregory Federspiel.

Topsfield Fair
Topsfield Fair (WBZ-TV)

There's also no confirmation of EEE mosquitoes in Topsfield, but fair-goers will be advised to be cautious.

"It's probably not good public relations for the fair, but it is what it is and we have this from time to time," said Tucker Hooven who was buying tickets.

The communities are hoping for a good frost even as the end of summer comes on strong this weekend.

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