The eighth human case of the rare and potentially deadly Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE, virus amid this year’s outbreak in Massachusetts has been confirmed, officials said Friday.
The mosquito-borne infection, which can cause brain swelling, fever, and coma, was found in a man in his 50s from northeastern Bristol County, the state Department of Public Health said in a statement.
“Even though it is September, it is still mosquito season,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel. “We continue to emphasize the need for people to protect themselves from mosquito bites.”
Across the state, there are currently 35 communities at critical risk, 38 at high risk, and 120 at moderate risk for EEE, which took the life of a Fairhaven woman last month.
“(The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources) continues to conduct aerial spraying and also supports the use of truck-based ground spraying as conditions allow this season,” state Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux said. “We continue to urge the public to use the insect repellants suggested by MA DPH, wear long sleeves and pants, and stay indoors from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active.”
The next wave of aerial spraying for mosquito control is expected to kick off Monday in parts of Hampden, Hampshire, and Worcester counties, if weather conditions allow, officials said.
The towns and cities that will either be partially or fully sprayed over the next week include: Brimfield, Palmer, Ware, Brookfield, Charlton, East Brookfield, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Southbridge, Sturbridge, Warren, and West Brookfield, according to DPH.
Spraying in parts of Middlesex, Norfolk, and Worcester counties is scheduled to continue over the weekend, the department said.
According to officials, DPH has learned a horse that was diagnosed with EEE reportedly in Granby in late August was stabled in Connecticut.
“As a result, the towns of Granby, Belchertown, Ludlow, Chicopee, and South Hadley have all been reduced to moderate risk,” DPH said in the statement.