BOSTON (CBS) — A man in his 70s has become the second person to die and the 10th person to be diagnosed with the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus in Massachusetts, the Department of Public Health said Friday. The man was a Freetown resident, according to the town.
There are 35 communities, including Freetown, at critical risk, 40 at high risk, and 128 at moderate risk for EEE.
Check: Map Of Communities At Risk
“At ten human cases in a single year, that is the largest number of cases that we have had in a given year since the 1950s,” said Dept. of Health doctor Catherine Brown.
Additionally, a second person, a man in his 50s from Plymouth County, was diagnosed with West Nile Virus.
Health officials urged the public to use bug spray, reduce exposed skin and stay indoors from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
While aerial spraying will continue, “evening temperatures are usually too low to support spraying. Mosquito activity decreases substantially below 60 degrees and the products themselves can only be used down to 50 degrees so as soon as it starts getting colder than that, we can’t spray anymore,” Brown said.
Last month, a Fairhaven mother lost her life to EEE.
A five-year-old girl from Sudbury was also diagnosed with EEE. The family of Sophia Garabedian says she is now healthy enough to leave the hospital and continue her recovery at a rehab facility.