EEE virus found in MA

Henrietta Strickland
August 14, 2019

The virus that causes Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) has been found in mosquitoes in New Hampshire for this first time this season, as MA confirms the first human case of the disease since 2013.

The State Department of Public Health says a man over the age of 60 is in the hospital after likely being exposed to EEE earlier this month. Laboratory testing confirmed the man's diagnosis. "My dad has been in a coma since Monday night and it's been a long week as the doctors have searched for answers", Tess Hiller Hedblom said in the Sunday post.

EEE virus symptoms usually appear four to 10 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

"Right now we are trying to get through minute by minute". "We will continue to monitor this situation and the impacted communities".

Eastern equine encephalitis virus can cause a potentially fatal disease that involves swelling of the brain, and officials had previously warned that people were at high risk of contracting the virus in about two dozen communities in southeastern MA. EEE is more commonly found in eastern MA than in New Hampshire.

Eastern equine encephalitis is exceedingly rare, with an average of seven cases reported in the USA each year.

Since 2004, 15 people have been infected with EEE in New Hampshire, although none since 2014. People can develop flu-like illness, including fever, headache, and muscle and joint pains. There is no specific treatment for the disease. Always were insect repellent and long sleeve shirts and trousers when going outdoors.

The nine communities now at critical risk are Carver, Lakeville, Marion, Middleborough, Rochester, and Wareham in Plymouth County and Acushnet, Freetown, and New Bedford in Bristol County.

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