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EEE virus is found in seven local communities

State public health officials have found Eastern equine encephalitis virus in mosquitoes collected in many areas south of Boston.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced mosquitoes carrying the virus were detected July 15 — for the first time anywhere in the state this summer — in Easton, Freetown, and New Bedford. Later samples tested positive in .Carver, Fairhaven, Halifax, and Lakeville.

EEE is a rare but serious illness spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. While EEE can infect people of all ages, those under 15 years of age or over 50 are at greatest risk for serious illness, officials said.


Health officials recommend that residents use insect repellant, wear long-sleeved clothing, repair window and door screens, remove standing water near houses, and avoid being outside at dawn or dusk.

Johanna Seltz can be reached at seltzjohanna@gmail.com.