Health officials confirm 2 more human cases of EEE in Massachusetts

BOSTON (WHDH) - Health officials on Friday confirmed this year’s sixth and seventh human case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Massachusetts.

The state Department of Public Health said a woman in her 60s from eastern Worcester County and a female under the age of 18 from southwestern Middlesex County have been infected with the potentially fatal virus.

As a result, the risk level for EEE has been raised to critical in Framingham, Marlborough, Northborough, and Sudbury. The risk level in Berlin, Boylston, Hudson, Maynard, Stow, and Wayland has been raised to high.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherin Brown said, “This is a disease that can strike people of all ages and so far what we have seen this year had been older individuals, but this is a reminder that everyone of any age should really take this disease seriously and make sure that they are taking steps to avoid mosquito bites.”

In total, there are 36 communities now at critical risk, 42 at high risk, and 115 at moderate risk for the EEE virus in Massachusetts.

There have also been nine confirmed cases of EEE in animals this year, including eight horses and one goat.

All Bay Staters are urged to use mosquito repellent. Those in high and critical risk communities should consider staying indoors from dusk to dawn to reduce exposure to mosquitoes.

A map of the state’s current EEE risk levels can be found here.

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