BOSTON - A Massachusetts man in his 70s has died after contracting Eastern equine encephalitis, or EEE, state health officials said Friday.
Authorities said the man was a resident of Freetown, a town about 50 miles south of Boston, according to WFXT.
"Our most sincere sympathy, thoughts and prayers go out to the victim, to their family and their loved ones," town officials said in a news release.
The man was identified as having the 10th confirmed human case of EEE in the state. Officials said eight other cases of EEE have been confirmed in animals, including seven horses and a goat.
The man's death was the second reported in the state from EEE. At least two other EEE-related deaths have been reported in recent weeks in Rhode Island and Michigan.
"We continue to emphasize the need for people to protect themselves from mosquito bites," Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel said Friday in a news release. “The unusually warm weather expected this weekend will increase outdoor activity among people and mosquitoes. It is absolutely essential that people take steps to avoid being bitten by a mosquito.”
Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said several cases of EEE are reported each year, most often in states along the Gulf Coast. The mosquito-borne virus is rare, but serious, and can affect people of all ages, Massachusetts health officials said.
Boston25News.com contributed to this report.