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In This State, 2nd Death From a Mosquito-Borne Killer

Elderly man dies in Massachusetts from Eastern equine encephalitis
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2019 8:15 AM CDT
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Stock photo.   (Getty Images/frank600)

(Newser) – A second person has died in Massachusetts from a rare mosquito-carried virus. CNN reports the patient, said by the state's Department of Health to be a man from Bristol County in his 70s, was the commonwealth's 10th confirmed human case of Eastern equine encephalitis, caused by a virus that leads to brain infections and kills nearly a third of the people it infects, per the CDC. The man hasn't been IDed, though a release notes he was a resident of Freetown, per Boston.com.

The state's first EEE fatality was Laurie Sylvia, who died in August at the age of 59. There are nearly three dozen Massachusetts communities said to be at critical risk for EEE, with another 40 at high risk. An average of seven human cases are reported to get the virus annually; so far in 2019, three people in Michigan and one person in Rhode Island have also died from EEE. Massachusetts health officials are warning people to cover skin up, use bug spray, and stay inside once the sun starts to go down, as well as at first light—mosquitoes' most active times. (Read more mosquito stories.)

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