By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) reported today on the 12th confirmed human Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus infection in a woman in her 70s from Hampden County.
Health officials also corrected the death toll. Based on an incorrect report filed by a hospital, DPH has been notified that the fourth death was improperly reported and the official death count remains at three people as of today.
DPH has protocols in place to confirm cases of EEE. The treating hospital sends suspected EEE cases to the state public health lab where it is tested. Upon confirmation, DPH notifies the current treating hospital the patient tested positive for EEE. The treating hospital is not mandated to report a death. However, if the hospital voluntarily reports the death to DPH, it is considered an official report.
“Although mosquito populations are declining, the weather is keeping them active,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown. “We continue to emphasize the need for people to protect themselves from mosquito bites.”
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