Third human case of EEE confirmed in Franklin County

Franklin County

BOSTON, Mass (WWLP) – A man in his sixties in northern Franklin County has tested positive for the EEE virus.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health made the announcement Friday, making it the third confirmed case of EEE in the state.

The public health commissioner said this is the most intense level of EEE activity the state has seen in years. She said the most activity is happening in Bristol and Plymouth counties.

The EEE 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.

Health officials are urging people to wear bug repellent, and keep in mind children and those over 55 are most at risk for becoming infected.

One Springfield resident, Aurelia Laflamme told 22News, “Sometimes if we go into the woods we have across the street, I have to put on bug spray because the bugs are really bad there. Spring they start to be a bit bad, but summer, they get really bad.”

The DPH is reminding people that we are still in peak mosquito season into September, and bug spray and avoiding being outside during dawn and dusk can help prevent mosquito bites.

The four communities now at critical risk are Heath and Colrain in Franklin County and Mendon and Uxbridge in Worcester County.

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