Rare virus detected in mosquito for first time this season
LAKEVILLE, Mass. (AP) — Massachusetts health officials say a mosquito has tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis for the first time this year.
The state Massachusetts Department of Public Health said Wednesday the virus was detected in a mosquito collected Sept. 17 in Lakeville near the Rhode Island state line.
Officials say there have been no human cases of the virus so far this year and none in 2017.
State Epidemiologist Catherine Brown said drought conditions in 2015 and 2016 reduced the population of mosquitoes responsible for spreading the virus.
The department says the virus is rare in humans but can be potentially fatal.
It advises residents wear insect repellent when outdoors and take other steps to prevent mosquito bites, like avoiding peak times for mosquito activity, which are from dusk to dawn.