BOSTON (AP) — State health officials say they have confirmed the first case of Eastern equine encephalitis in a horse in Massachusetts this year and are urging precautions against mosquitoes.

The health department said Wednesday the horse was stabled in Belchertown. It’s the second EEE case in a horse there in two years. The department says it’s raising the threat level for the mosquito-borne virus to “critical” in Belchertown, urging outdoor events be canceled during the evening when mosquitoes are most active.

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The health department said it’s raising the threat level to “moderate” in several nearby communities. Officials said Tuesday they consider Amherst to have a “moderate” risk because EEE-infected mosquitoes were found there.

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No human cases of EEE or West Nile virus have been reported this year. West Nile virus has been found in mosquitoes in several communities.

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Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.