Fourth Mass. resident tests positive for EEE as mosquito season winds down


FILE – In this Jan. 27, 2016, file photo, an Aedes aegypti mosquito known to carry the Zika virus, is photographed through a microscope at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Sometime next year, genetically modified mosquitoes will be released in the Florida Keys in an effort to combat persistent insect-borne diseases such as Dengue fever and the Zika virus. The plan approved Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, by the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District calls for a pilot project in 2021 involving the striped-legged Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is not native to Florida. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

BOSTON (WPRI) ─ The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) reported Friday that a fourth resident has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) this year.

Health officials said a woman in her 60s from Plymouth County recently tested positive for the virus.

Risk Maps for EEE and West Nile Virus »

Plymouth County is now considered at high risk for EEE. As of Friday, health officials said four municipalities are listed as critical risk, 10 are listed as high and 18 are listed as moderate risk.

The virus has been found in 65 mosquito samples in Massachusetts this year, according to health officials. The first mosquito sample with EEE was collected on July 1 in Orange.

The Health Department said while mosquito populations are declining, the EEE risk will be around until all of the mosquitoes die off, which usually happens during the first hard frost.

Fact Sheet: Signs & Symptoms of Mosquito-Borne Diseases »

The Health Department said 12 people were diagnosed with EEE statewide in 2019.

Last year’s mosquito season began quietly but quickly erupted in Southern New England, raising EEE risk levels significantly across both Rhode Island and Massachusetts. At least one person died from EEE in Rhode Island and six people died in Massachusetts.

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