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.
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.