Health authorities in Massachusetts have announced that someone has been infected by the deadly eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEE) this summer, and warn Mass residents to wear proper insect repellants.
The virus spreads from mosquitoes and is an annual occurrence in Massachusetts. Normally not seen in the summer months as much, the EEE virus usually infects 5 – 10 people a year, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The virus can lead to inflammation in the brain, and in some cases, even death. The CDC has reported that around one in every three cases result in death, and that the EEE virus should be taken very seriously.
The Massachusetts Department of Health announced that the first summer infection of the year has occurred in Plymouth County. A lab test in the area tested positive for EEE on July 15th. People in the area are being told to wear plenty of bug spray, so as to deter the mosquitoes that carry the infection.
“EEE is an annual occurrence in Massachusetts. These were mammal-biting mosquitoes, and the findings should (encourage) residents of the area to cover up and apply insect repellent when outdoors,” said state public health veterinarian Dr. Catherine Brown.
The CDC has also said that mosquitoes like to breed in pools of standing water, so staying away from those could prevent nasty bites and possible diseases.
Residents of Massachusetts can check mosquito activity in their area by looking at the Massachusetts Health and Human Services website.