FOXBORO, MASS. (WHDH) - Fans tailgating at the Patriots final preseason game Thursday night in Foxborough are taking precautions due to a critical Eastern Equine Encephalitis risk in a nearby community.

In Walpole, the next town over from Gillette Stadium, the threat level of EEE has risen to critical.

EEE is a rare but serious and potentially fatal mosquito-borne illness.

“It’s dangerous, I mean you have to be careful. You gotta try to put some repellent on,” one fan said. “The last thing anybody wants is to have someone in the family get EEE. It’s no game.”

State health officials are warning people to be careful if they are out at night after they have discovered four new cases of EEE in horses.

“Just not to be out after dusk, and wear long sleeves. Use the bug spray. Just do your best not to get bit,” another fan said.

Officials say EEE has been found in 191 communities in the Bay State.

Foxborough has not had any reported cases of EEE.

There have been four human cases of EEE in Massachusetts this year.

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