Health & Wellness

EEE, West Nile virus detected in Mass. mosquitoes for first time in 2024

The last EEE death in Massachusetts was in 2020, following six the year before, according to the Department of Public Health


Two potentially harmful viruses, West Nile and eastern equine encephalitis, have now detected in mosquitoes in Massachusetts, officials say.

No person or animal has yet been infected with West Nile virus or EEE, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's announcements on each virus, made Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. But the presence of both viruses is a reminder to prevent mosquito bites.



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"Today's finding alerts us to the presence of EEE in Massachusetts this year," Public Health Commissioner Robbie Goldstein said in a statement Wednesday. "Combined with yesterday's announcement of West Nile virus in mosquitoes in Massachusetts, we are asking everyone to take the necessary precautions to prevent mosquito bites. We recommend that people use mosquito repellent when they are spending time outdoors so they can celebrate the July 4th holiday and enjoy the rest of the summer without being bitten."

Both EEE and West Nile are rare but can cause serious symptoms. The last EEE death in Massachusetts was in 2020, following six the year before, according to the Department of Public Health.

EEE has been detected in Massachusetts mosquitoes since then, but there have been more more human cases. The detection of EEE in a sample collected in Carver on Sunday raises the risk level of getting EEE to moderate in that community as well as Kingston, Middleborough, Plymouth, Plympton and Wareham, health officials said.

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West Nile virus usually causes fever and flu-like symptoms, but in rare cases can cause severe illness, health officials said. The mosquito carrying the virus was collected in Quincy on Tuesday, June 25, officials said.

There were six human cases of West Nile in Massachusetts last year.

Officials expect the mosquito population to increase throughout the summer and recommend, among other prevention techniques, avoiding outdoor activities in dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.

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