An elderly woman from Weymouth is the first Massachusetts resident to die of EEE, or Eastern equine encephalitis, in 2013.
The 85-year-old woman was hospitalized earlier this month and died a few days later, according to state public health officials.
“We are right in the middle of peak transmission for EEE,” Dr. Catherine Brown, state public health veterinarian, told the Boston Globe. “Given the activity we have seen over the last decade for EEE, I am afraid this is the type of thing we are going to see happen.”
In the past week, several batches of mosquitoes were detected carrying EEE in Easton, Dighton and Mansfield. The Bristol County towns have had a greater presence of the disease in the past because they are in the vicinity of Hockomock Swamp, a prime breeding ground, according to the Globe.
In 2012, seven Bay Staters were infected with the disease, which is carried by mosquitoes. Three of those victims died.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health recommends avoiding the disease by eliminating standing water, which is where mosquitoes lay their eggs, from buckets, tires and wading pools – especially after heavy rains.
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