By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

On Wednesday, The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) announced that laboratory testing has confirmed the 9th human case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus infection, a man in his 70s from Essex County.

Eastern equine encephalitis /CDC

One fatality has been reported this year.

“We continue to emphasize the need for people to protect themselves from mosquito bites,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “We urge the public to use bug spray, wear long sleeves and pants and socks to reduce exposed skin, and stay indoors from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active.”

As a result of this most recent case, risk levels have been raised to high in Ipswich and Topsfield, and to moderate in Beverly, Danvers, Hamilton, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Middleton, Newbury, Newburyport, and Wenham.

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State officials continue to remind residents throughout the Commonwealth to take personal precautions to prevent mosquito bites.

In addition to the nine human cases of EEE this season in Massachusetts, there have also been eight confirmed cases of EEE this year in animals – seven horses and a goat. One person has died.

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