Methuen limits trick-or-treating over EEE concerns

METHUEN, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts mayor has set a curfew for trick-or-treating on Halloween after his city became a critical risk for the eastern equine encephalitis virus.

Mayor James Jajuga announced Friday that Methuen residents will be limited to trick-or-treating from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 31.

The decision follows the city’s designation as one of 35 communities in the state now at critical risk for the virus. State public health officials say three residents have died from the virus.

WCVB reports there have been 12 human cases of the illness this season in Massachusetts alone.

The rare disease can affect people of all ages. It has been reported sporadically in the state, with the most recent outbreak years occurring from 2010-2012.