Second Mass. man infected with risky EEE virus

Michelle Gabel | mgabel@syracuse This file

Michelle Gabel | mgabel@syracuse This file

"However, in active EEE years, the virus may move outside of southeastern MA".

Officials said the presences of EEE in MA and CT mosquitos indicated a "higher-than-average risk summer for mosquito-borne diseases".

12, two cases of EEE have been confirmed in horses in Kalamazoo and St. Joseph counties.

EEE causes inflammation of the brain tissue and has a significantly higher risk of death in horses than West Nile Virus infection.

According to the DPH, there are ten communities now at critical risk for EEE - including the Central Mass. towns of Grafton, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Upton and Westborough.

The Town of Marion has now canceled the annual Town Party that was scheduled for the evening of August 24.

Residents are urged to utilize insect repellent, wear protective clothing and also reduce out of doors activities between dusk and dawn, officials say. There are some who may contract the virus but remain asymptomatic, while those most at risk of the more serious effects of EEE are under the age of 15 or over 50. Both humans and horses are at risk of getting EEE through the bite of infected mosquitoes.

The MDHHS said the southwestern region of the state has experience outbreaks of this mosquito-borne disease in horses and people in the past, with the most recent outbreaks occurring in the early 1980s.

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