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Human EEE Case Confirmed In Western Massachusetts

WikiMedia Commons

  Health officials in Massachusetts Friday confirmed a third human case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and said two western Massachusetts towns are at critical risk for the mosquito-transmitted virus.

  Officials said a man over the age of 60 was exposed to the virus in northern Franklin County and the towns of Health and Colrain are now considered at critical risk for EEE.

   The largest area of concern remains in southeastern Massachusetts with a secondary focus in part of central Massachusetts.

   Dr. Catherine Brown of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health said people across the state should take precaution including using insect repellant, remove standing water, and avoid outdoor activity at dusk and dawn.

           These are the first human EEE cases in Massachusetts in six years.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.