Second human case of EEE confirmed in Massachusetts


BOSTON, Mass. (WPRI) — A second person from Massachusetts has contracted Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), according to the Massachusets Department of Public Health (DPH).

The health department said the second victim is a male between the ages of 18-30 years old that lives in Worcester County.

Additionally, the health department said a goat in Bristol County also tested positive for EEE.

Ten communities are now at critical risk for seeing additional cases of EEE, including Grafton, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Upton, Westborough, Easton, Norton, Raynham and Hopkinton.

“The most intense level of EEE activity is still being seen in Bristol and Plymouth Counties,” Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel said. “However, in active EEE years, the virus may move outside of southeastern Massachusetts. This is evidence of that movement, and residents in the area of increased risk should use mosquito repellent and avoid outdoor activities at night. “

Last weekend, the health department said a man over the age of 60 living in Plymouth County contracted EEE.

Residents are reminded to cover up when heading outside during the dawn and evening hours in the critical risk areas.

Tips for preventing mosquito bites »

In total, there are 19 communities now at critical risk, 18 at high risk and 24 at moderate risk for the EEE virus in Massachusetts.

Earlier this month, the state began aerial spraying in and around the affected communities.

There have been no reports of human cases of EEE in Rhode Island, however, earlier this week mosquitoes trapped in Central Falls did test positive for the virus.

Here are some recommendations on how to protect yourself from mosquito bites:

  • Dump out any standing water near your home.
  • Use screens on windows or air conditioning to keep them outside.
  • Use mosquito repellent that contains DEET.
  • Avoid being outside during peak biting hours – usually between dusk and dawn.
  • Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and high socks if you’re outside during peak biting hours.

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