Since the Massachusetts Department of Public Health found a week ago, what was a small sample in the Shovel Town has grown into a widespread issue in Southeastern Mass.
Infected mosquitoes were found in Carver last week and more infected mosquitoes were found in Easton earlier this week, prompting the state to to combat the bugs in 10 towns, including Easton.
Another sample of infected mosquitoes was found in Rehoboth Wednesday, the DPH announced, convincing officials to further expand spraying.
Aerial spraying will commence this week as opposed to next week, which was previously reported. It will take place on Friday and Saturday night, weather permitting, and include the towns of Acushnet, Berkley, Bridgewater, Carver, Dighton, East Bridgewater, Easton, Freetown, Halifax, Hanson, Kingston, Lakeville, Middleborough, Norton, Pembroke, Plympton, Raynham, Rehoboth, Rochester, Taunton, and West Bridgewater.
While spraying will combat infected mosquitoes, DPH Commissioner John Auerbach said it will only be one line of defense. Residents are encouraged to protect themselves in other ways.
The DPH has also urged residents to stay current with its website at www.mass.gov/dph.