Family identifies Freetown man who died of EEE

SE Mass

FREETOWN, Mass. (WPRI) — The wife of the man who died in Massachusetts from eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) identified him as James Longworth, 78.

He was the state’s 10th human case of EEE and the second death, according to health officials. A Fairhaven woman died last month.

His wife said he took all the proper precautions and was healthy before he died.

Even before Friday’s confirmation of this newest fatal case, Freetown was at critical risk for EEE, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

At Freetown State Forest Saturday, visitors said they were leaving before peak hours for mosquitoes.

“It’s definitely scary. We take precautions especially with him because she worries a lot and so do I. We try to do everything we can to protect ourselves with the bug spray and hooded sweatshirts,” Steven Medeiros said.

A map of the state’s current EEE risk levels can be found here.

The Freetown Board of Health urged residents to be vigilant while outdoors and offered the following advice:

  • Use bug spray with DEET
  • Wear long sleeves and pants
  • Drain standing water on your property
  • Fix screens on windows and doors

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