Marshfield child becomes seventh Mass. resident to contract EEE
A Marshfield child has been confirmed as the seventh Massachusetts resident and the second in the town to contract Eastern equine encephalitis this year, the town’s Board of Health said.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health said the child was not hospitalized and is recovering.
People in 18 cities and towns in Massachusetts are at critical risk for contracting a mosquito-borne illness, such as EEE or West Nile virus. Plymouth County alone has eight communities listed as critical risk areas, including Marshfield, and 20 communities listed as high risk, the Department of Public Health reported on their website.
Communities given the criticial or high risk level are advised to cancel all evening outdoor events for the remainder of the season or until the first hard frost, the Department of Public Health said in a statement.
After the Marshfield child contracted the disease, the neighboring town of Scituate was given a high risk level by the state, prompting the town to cancel all outdoor night events until further notice. On the town’s website, they note that outdoor spraying can no longer be done because of the cooler temperatures.
The Department of Public Health has also confirmed two more cases of West Nile virus in residents of Suffolk and Hampden counties. There have been 19 cases of West Nile in Massachusetts so far this year and one fatality from the disease.
Last weekend, a 63-year-old Amesbury woman became the second fatality of the EEE virus in the state. A 79-year-old Westborough man died of the disease in August.
EEE is a rare but serious illness that people contract when bitten by an infected mosquito. Residents across the state, but especially in critical or high risk areas, are encouraged to apply mosquito repellent with DEET and wear long pants, long-sleeved clothing, and socks while outdoors.Sarah N. Mattero can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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