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We are approaching bat season in Brookline.  If you have captured a bat in your home, rabies testing is available.  The Brookline Department of Public Health is collecting bats which will be submitted to the state laboratory for analysis.  Our staff will notify you with the results; results are reported as soon as possible but could be delayed during ongoing response to COVID‐19.   

Please follow these instructions: 

  • Place the specimen in a container or double‐sealable, leak‐proof bag. Store in the refrigerator until you can submit it for testing. 
  • Fill out the form below; include the names of any people or animals possibly exposed to the bat. Print out a copy of the form and securely attach it to the specimen.   
  • Contact the Brookline Department of Public Health (617) 730‐2300 to alert staff you would like to drop off a bat.   
  • Bring the bat to the Public Health Department, 11 Pierce Street, Brookline, between the hours of 9am‐3pm.  When you arrive, leave the bat in the designated area outside the building (under posted sign) and call to alert the staff you have left the bat for testing.

Bat testing instructions & form (PDF)

Licensed Pest Control Operators (PDF)


BROOKLINE - On Tuesday, July 21, 2020, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health identified West Nile virus-positive mosquitoes in traps located in Brookline. The risk level in Brookline is high.

Mosquito-borne viruses are viruses that are carried and spread by mosquitoes. In this part of the country, public health surveillance is done for two mosquito-borne viruses that can cause encephalitis (swelling of the brain) - West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). The period of highest risk of getting either disease can be from late July through the fall.

Mosquitoes get WNV and EEE by biting infected birds. People and animals can get these diseases by being bitten by an infected mosquito. There is no evidence that a person can get these viruses from handling live or dead infected birds or animals. However, gloves should be worn when handling any dead animals and double plastic bags used to discard them in the trash.

"In this time of COVID 19, we still need to pay attention to safeguards to prevent contracting West Nile Virus, especially during warm summer months when mosquitoes are very active. It’s imperative to wear proper clothing and protect your skin when you are outside," said Dr. Swannie Jett, Public Health Commissioner. 

Full Press Release (PDF)


With Phase 1 of Massachusetts’ reopening of businesses and services, recreational marijuana stores are being allowed to open. This could mean greater access for teens, who may not realize that even occasional marijuana smoking and vaping can compromise lungs and increase susceptibility and complications from COVID. Vaping has been especially problematic during the closure, which has caused an upswing in black market cartridges, which can be especially dangerous due to unregulated chemicals. At least one Brookline teen has gone to the hospital with a very severe reaction from vaping.

CNN has done a recent informative piece -


Population Health


I’ve been asked many times what population health is. Wikipedia defines it as “the health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group." It is in essence, a strategic plan to improve the health of the entire population.

Health is a dynamic state of complete physical, mental, spiritual, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. (WHO, 1998) Public Health is “What we, as a society, do collectively to assure the conditions in which people can be healthy." (IOM 1988).

 Public Health 

  • Prevents epidemics and the spread of disease
  • Prevents injuries
  • Promotes and encourages healthy behavior
  • Responds to disasters
  • Assures the quality and accessibility of Health Services

 “Population health is public health”

  • A medical model saves lives one person at a time
  • Public Health saves lives millions at a time.

Through public health achievements life expectancy in the United States has increased from 47.3 years in 1900 to 78.1 years in 1996. That’s a 25+ years of life improvement.

Additional Information

Dr. Swannie Jett, Health Commissioner of Public Health, asks that you contact the Brookline Health Department at 617-730-2300 with any questions or requests for additional information.