eastern equine encephalitis

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EEE in Mosquitoes That Bite Mammals (That Means You!) In Massachusetts

This update just in from the state Department of Public Health:

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) announced today that eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) has been found in mosquitoes in the towns of Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Carver, Middleborough, and Rockland in Plymouth County and in Freetown in Bristol County. Infected mosquitoes of the kind that bite mammals, including humans, were found in Carver and Bridgewater this week and had already been found Bridgewater, West Bridgewater and Raynham. Results over the last few weeks indicate that the risk that people may become infected with EEE is high in Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Raynham and Easton and is generally increasing in southeastern Massachusetts.

“Finding mammal-biting mosquitoes infected with EEE is of great concern to us”, said DPH State Epidemiologist Dr. Al DeMaria. “Earlier in the season, all of our infected mosquitoes were the bird-biting kind, which are less likely to spread disease to people.”

In 2010, there was one case of EEE in a Massachusetts resident and one case in a Rhode Island resident who was probably exposed to the virus in Massachusetts. EEE is usually spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. EEE is a serious disease in people of all ages and can even cause death. Continue reading