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In This State, a 4th Death From Mosquito-Borne Virus

It's called Eastern equine encephalitis
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2019 6:30 PM CDT
In this Aug. 26, 2019, file photo, Salt Lake City Mosquito Abatement District biologist Nadja Reissen examines a mosquito in Salt Lake City.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

(Newser) – A rare mosquito-borne virus that's hitting unusually hard this year has claimed a tenth life, CNN reports. Massachusetts health officials reported the state's fourth death from Eastern equine encephalitis on Wednesday. The latest fatality also triggered new "high risk" warnings in Massachusetts communities—Spencer, Southbridge, Leicester, Dudley, Charlton, and Auburn—bringing that total to 46, along with 122 communities at moderate risk and 35 at high risk. Other fatalities have occurred in Rhode Island, Michigan, and Connecticut.

The state—which has tried to help with by spraying for mosquitoes—recommends people take typical anti-mosquito precautions like covering the skin with long pants and sleeves, using bug spray, and staying indoors as much as possible between an hour before sunset and the next day's sunrise. Sadly, an EEE vaccine developed by the US military in the 1980s is unavailable unless obtained by researchers for a clinical trial run, WBUR reports. The military developed it for service members, but was told by the FDA to stop providing it to researchers who were analyzing the virus. (One woman died six days after a mosquito bite.)

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