The Department of Public Health has announced that laboratory testing confirmed the second case of the EEE virus this year in Massachusetts, over the weekend.
EEE, better known as Eastern Equine Encephalitis, was found in a female in her 60’s from Hampden County.
As a result, the risk level in Wilbraham has been raised to critical while Hampden and Monson have been raised to high. Additionally, Chicopee, East Longmeadow, Ludlow, Palmer, and Springfield in Hampden County have been raised to moderate risk.
Across the Commonwealth, three municipalities are at critical risk, eight are at high risk, and 20 are at moderate risk for EEE.
EEE virus has been found in 65 mosquito samples this year, over 70 percent of them in species of mosquitoes capable of spreading the virus to people.
DPH is working with the local health departments and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources to coordinate mosquito surveillance and appropriate public health response activities.
The DPH reminds all residents to use mosquito repellent any time they are outside, and those in high and critical risk communities are advised to schedule their outdoor activity to avoid the dusk to dawn hours to reduce exposure to the mosquitoes most likely to spread EEE.
EEE is a rare but potentially fatal disease that can affect people of all ages. There has already been one other human case identified this year. In 2019, there were 12 human cases of EEE in Massachusetts with 6 deaths.