Another Massachusetts man has been diagnosed with the Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEE), the state's Department of Public Health announced Friday, making him the second person to be diagnosed with the rare but dangerous infection.
Laboratory testing confirmed the virus in a Grafton man who is between the ages of 19 and 30, authorities said.
Earlier this week, health officials said a Rochester man who is older than 60, became the first in the state to be diagnosed with the infection since 2013.
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In addition to the two human cases, a young goat in Bristol County also tested positive for EEE this year, health officials said.
Officials have raised the EEE risk to critical in 10 communities: Hopkinton, Grafton, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Upton, Westborough, Easton, Norton and Raynham.
Communities at high risk for EEE are Framingham, Marlborough, Millbury, Northborough and Sutton.
Although rare, EEE is a serious and potentially fatally virus. Symptoms can include fever, headache, stiff neck and sore throat.
Aerial spraying began in specific areas of Bristol and Plymouth counties this week to reduce the mosquito population and public health risk.
While aerial spraying reduces the risk for EEE, health officials are reminding residents it doesn't eliminate it completely. Residents are still be reminded to use insect repellent and to wear long sleeve shirts and pants to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes.
To learn more about how to protect yourself from the illness, visit mass.gov/dph/mosquito or call the DPH Epidemiology Program at 617-983-6800.