FAIRHAVEN, Mass. (WPRI) — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health says a woman over the age of 50 in Bristol County has tested positive for EEE, or Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
It’s the fourth human case of EEE in Massachusetts this year, and comes as recent EEE findings in mosquitoes have been rampant in Southeastern Massachusetts.
Earlier this month, the state began aerial spraying in and around the affected communities.
On Sunday, the town of Fairhaven tweeted saying “word is circulating online about a possible EEE case” in their community and that it would keep residents updated as it learns more.
At the time, Mary Freire-Kellogg with the Fairhaven Board of Health said the department was contacted by a local family who said their loved one was diagnosed with EEE. She said the state health department was yet to confirm the case.
EEE is a rare but serious and potentially fatal disease that can affect people of all ages. It’s been found in 333 mosquito samples in Massachusetts this year, according to health officials.
To minimize the risk of contracting EEE and West Nile Virus, the Massachusetts Department of Health advises people to stay indoors from dusk to dawn, when mosquitos are at their peak biting times. When you are outside, it’s advised you wear protective clothing and use insect repellent with DEET or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
It can also be helpful to drain any standing water pooling from wading pools or other containers collecting water outside your home. Be sure to replace any window or door screens that have holes in them to prevent mosquitoes from going inside your house.