BOSTON (CBS) – An elderly man from Bristol County has been diagnosed with eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). He’s the first human case in Massachusetts this year.
The man became ill on August 27 and was hospitalized on August 29. The Department of Public Health has not given any other information on his identity, hometown, or where exactly he may have contracted EEE.
WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports
“We always hope that there won’t be any cases of EEE”, said DPH State Epidemiologist Dr. Alfred DeMaria. “But southeastern Massachusetts is an area that concerns us every year. This tragedy reminds us how important it is to make every effort to avoid mosquitoes and mosquito bites.”
Bristol and Plymouth Counties have been a hot zone for mosquitoes carrying the viruses.
The Middleboro Fair opened Friday night, and the news was on the mind of organizers. Fair managers were handing out citronella patches even though they have been taking precautions all week.
Mosquito crews hit the fairgrounds repeatedly over the last week.
WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports from Middleboro
There was one case of EEE in a Massachusetts resident in 2010 as well as a Rhode Island resident who was probably exposed to the virus in Massachusetts.
EEE is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito.
Early symptoms include headache, high fever, chills and vomiting.
EEE is a dangerous disease that can prove deadly.