The second person this year in has died from the mosquito-borne illness Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Massachusetts, the Associated Press reports.
The victim has been identified as Charlene Manseau, 63, of Amesbury, according to the Newburyport Daily News. Manseau's family told the paper she may have had a weakened immune system due to recent cancer treatment (Read the full report). Manseau died Saturday.
In all, seven human cases of EEE have been recorded this year in the state, along with 19 human cases of West Nile Virus.
West Nile Virus was found in a mosquito pool in Medford in July; it is the second consecutive year the virus was found in insects in the city. The state's Department of Public Health raised the West Nile Virus threat level to "high" in early September shortly after three new human cases of the virus were found in Middlesex County. This year also saw the first death from West Nile Virus in Massachusetts since 2005.
Below are precautions to take against contracting West Nile Virus, courtesy of the Department of Public Health.
Avoid Mosquito Bites
- Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535 according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.
- Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning.
- Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
Mosquito-Proof Your Home
- Drain Standing Water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently.
- Install or Repair Screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.
Protect Your Animals
Animal owners should reduce potential mosquito breeding sites on their property by eliminating standing water from containers such as buckets, tires, and wading pools — especially after heavy rains. Water troughs provide excellent mosquito breeding habitats and should be flushed out at least once a week during the summer months to reduce mosquitoes near paddock areas. Horse owners should keep horses in indoor stalls at night to reduce their risk of exposure to mosquitoes. If an animal is diagnosed with WNV or EEE, owners are required to report to DAR, Division of Animal Health by calling 617-626-1795 and to the Department of Public Health (DPH) by calling 617-983-6800.
More information, including all WNV and EEE positive results from 2012, can be found on the Arbovirus Surveillance Information web page at www.mass.gov/dph/wnv or by calling the DPH Epidemiology Program at 617-983-6800.
Correction: An earlier version of this report referred to EEE as an airborne disease. It is a mosquito-borne disease.