By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
State health officials confirmed the second human case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus infection in a female in her 60s who was exposed to EEE in Hampden County.
As a result, the EEE risk level in Wilbraham has been raised to critical, and the EEE risk level in Hampden and Monson has been raised to high.
Across the Commonwealth, three municipalities are at critical risk critical, eight are at high risk, and 20 are at moderate risk for EEE.
All residents are reminded to use mosquito repellent any time they are outside, and those in high and critical risk communities are advised to schedule their outdoor activity to avoid the dusk to dawn hours to reduce exposure to the mosquitoes most likely to spread EEE.
EEE is a rare but potentially fatal disease that can affect people of all ages. There has already been one other human case identified this year. In 2019, there were 12 human cases of EEE in Massachusetts with 6 deaths.
In neighboring Connecticut, officials announced that mosquitoes trapped in Stonington on August 5 tested positive for EEE virus.
These results represent the first EEE positive mosquitoes identified in the state by the Connecticut
Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) this year.
“The detection of EEE virus in mosquitoes in early August and the continued spread of West Nile virus is
cause for concern,” said Dr. Philip Armstrong, Medical Entomologist at the CAES. “Virus activity can
quickly escalate so we’ll continue to closely monitor mosquitoes for further virus amplification and
“Now is the time to take precautions against mosquito bites,” said Dr. Jason White, Director of the CAES. “We encourage everyone to take simple measures such as wearing mosquito repellent and covering bare skin, especially during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.”
Last year, Connecticut reported four confirmed human cases of EEE and three individuals died.