First Human Case of EEE Reported in Middleborough
MIDDLEBOROUGH — The first human case of eastern equine encephalitis has been reported in Middleborough.
According to a Facebook post from the Middleborough Town Manager account, posted at 2:50 p.m. today, the town was informed this afternoon from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health “that a human case of EEE/WEST NILE has been reported in Middleborough.”
WBSM News confirmed with the Middleborough Health Department that it was a human case of EEE and not the West Nile virus.
State officials confirmed the diagnosis on the state's EEE website, noting the victim is between 11 and 20 years old.
The town has banned all outdoor activities on town-owned property from dusk to dawn as a result.
Last year, Massachusetts had 12 reported human cases of EEE, with six deaths. State officials called it the most active EEE season in the Commonwealth since the 1950s.
This year, the first positive test for EEE in a mosquito came on July 1 in Orange. State officials say that is the earliest they’ve seen a positive mosquito sample in 20 years.
There were multiple positive mosquito samples collected in Plymouth County last month, with mosquitoes testing positive in Carver in samples taken on July 13, 27 and 31, and samples taken in Middleboro on July 21, as well as in other towns in the county. So far, there have been no positive samples collected in Bristol County this year.
Last August, the first positive case in a human in Massachusetts was reported in Plymouth County. A Fairhaven woman, a Freetown man and a Taunton man all died from EEE last year.