BOSTON (CBS) — The first death from EEE has been reported this season.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health says the woman, a resident of Norfolk County in her 80s, was hospitalized in mid-August and died several days later.
Her name has not been released.
The DPH is conducting an investigation to determine where the woman was most likely exposed to infected mosquitoes.
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“Our condolences go out to this individual’s family and friends,” said DPH Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett. “This underscores the serious nature of EEE and the need for vigilance. While the investigation is ongoing, this is a reminder to continue to use personal protection against mosquito bites, including covering exposed skin when outdoors, limiting outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, and using approved insect repellants.”
There were seven cases of EEE in Massachusetts in 2012. EEE is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito.
The DPH says the first symptoms of EEE are fever (often 103º to 106ºF), stiff neck, headache, and lack of energy. These symptoms show up three to ten days after a bite from an infected mosquito.