State public health officials say this could be a bad year for eastern equine encephalitis after a 7-month-old horse stabled in Middleborough had to be euthanized after developing the disease.
Public Health Department officials say the horse developed symptoms on Tuesday and was euthanized on Wednesday. The infection was confirmed Friday.
The last horse with a confirmed case of EEE in Massachusetts was last September in Essex County.
There have been no confirmed EEE infections in humans this year and there were none last year.
But state epidemiologist Dr. Alfred DeMaria says the horse’s death as well as evidence of mosquito infection this year is comparable to 2006 when there were five human EEE deaths.