Local residents concerned after first confirmed human EEE case since 2013

Health

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The first human case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis has been identified in Massachusetts since 2013.

The case was identified in Plymouth County, and according to the state, 60-percent of cases of EEE ever identified in Massachusetts occurred in Plymouth and Norfolk counties.

The virus is extremely rare, but of the nine cases identified in the state from 2010 to 2012, four people died. Symptoms of the disease include fever, stiff neck, and headache.

With EEE and the West Nile virus, some people said they take extra steps to limit contact with mosquitoes.

Anthony Reyes of Springfield told 22News, “Now it makes it hard for us to bring kids out during certain times of day, we just don’t want our kids getting sick because they are more prone to illness than adults are.”

The Health Department says the best way to protect yourself from the virus, is to avoid getting bit.

So wearing long sleeves and bug spray, and avoiding going outside at dusk and dawn when mosquitos are most active.

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