NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — For the first time this year, eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) has been found in Massachusetts, state health officials announced Tuesday.
According to the health department, EEE was detected in two mosquito samples collected July 15 in New Bedford and Easton.
The finding comes less than a week after West Nile virus was detected in Boston.
No human cases of either mosquito-borne illness have been reported so far this year.
Finding evidence of EEE and West Nile virus is common this time of year, according to health officials, and there’s no elevated risk level associated with these discoveries.
The health department will continue to monitor mosquito activity and urges residents to take steps to avoid being bitten.
“People have an important role to play in protecting themselves and their loved ones from illnesses caused by mosquitoes,” state epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown said. “Now that we have evidence that both West Nile Virus (WNV) and EEE are present this season, it is very important to take steps to prevent exposure to mosquitoes.”