Officials urging residents to take precaution against mosquitoes

Hampden County

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Most of Hampden County is now at a high risk for EEE.

Western Massachusetts health clinics are seeing more patients concerned about Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

Three Massachusetts residents have died from EEE so far this year.

The most recent human case was a Hampden county woman in her 70s. Over 35 Massachusetts communities are at critical risk for EEE and 53 are at high risk.

West Springfield is one of several Hampden county communities that are at high risk for EEE. Doctors and medical professionals in this area are more concerned about the elderly and people with compromised immune systems contracting this disease.

“Those are the most concerning patients,” Jessica Batchelder, Physician Assistant for AFC Urgent Care said. “If you have a bite and you’re not having any chills, a fever, or any symptoms, it’s sill worth it for them to get evaluated. If you’re a healthy 30-year-old male then you probably aren’t as greater at risk of dying from something like this.”

Symptoms of EEE include nausea, fever, headaches, and fatigue. Batchelder told 22News, they’ll advise any patients of concern to go to the ER.

A EEE diagnosis involves testing a person’s blood or spinal fluid. According to the CDC, about 1 in 3 people who contract EEE die from the disease.

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