BOSTON (WPRI) ─ The Masschusetts Department of Public Health announced Friday that the state has had a second mosquito sample test positive for eastern equine encephalitis (EEE).

The health department says EEE was found in a mosquito sample collected on July 5 in Wendell.

Following the findings, the EEE-risk level in both Wendell and New Salem was raised to moderate. Last week, the state’s first EEE-positive sample of the season was detected in a sample collected from Orange.

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“We are seeing EEE activity in mosquitoes very early in the season,’” Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel said. “We will continue to conduct additional surveillance, including trapping and testing mosquitoes in the region over the next several weeks to better inform our guidance to local communities.”

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, six deaths in Massachusetts and three in Connecticut.

“This second early finding reinforces our concern about EEE activity this season,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown said. “We urge all Massachusetts residents to be aware of the risks associated with mosquito bites and to take precautions against being bitten.”