State’s Second EEE Positive Mosquito Sample Found in Western Mass.

BOSTON – The Department of Public Health has detected the eastern equine encephalitis virus in mosquitoes in Western Massachusetts for the second time this year.

The EEE virus was found in a mosquito sample collected on Sunday in the community of Wendell in Franklin County.

On Friday, the state’s first detection of EEE in mosquitoes was also found in Franklin County.

No human or animal case of EEE has been detected so far in Massachusetts this year.

So far there have been no detection of EEE in mosquitoes on the Cape and Islands.

Most towns on the Cape in 2019 reported a detection of EEE in the samples of mosquitoes taken.

Last year, there were 12 human cases of EEE in Massachusetts with six deaths.

There were also nine cases in domestic animals.

“We are seeing EEE activity in mosquitoes very early in the season,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel. 

“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.”

EEE is a rare but serious and potentially fatal disease that can affect people of all ages.

EEE is generally spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito.

“This second early finding reinforces our concern about EEE activity this season,” said State Epidemiologist, Dr. Catherine Brown.

“We urge all Massachusetts residents to be aware of the risks associated with mosquito bites and to take precautions against being bitten.”

About Justin Saunders

Justin Saunders has nearly 10 years of experience in radio, television, online and newspaper journalism across the US and Canada. Justin joined the NewsCenter in May 2014 and continues to help provide coverage of the Cape and Islands.
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