BOSTON (AP) - A third Massachusetts resident has been diagnosed with a case of Eastern equine encephalitis.
State health officials said the patient is female, under the age of 18 and currently hospitalized. She was diagnosed in early September.
Based on the latest report, the EEE threat level has been raised in several towns in Franklin and Worcester counties.
Last week officials reported the first death related to EEE. They believe the man in his 70s was exposed to the mosquito-borne virus in Westborough the first week of August. A southeastern Massachusetts man recovered from EEE earlier this summer.
Officials say the best way to protect against the disease is to avoid mosquitoes by using insect repellant, wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks, and rescheduling evening or early morning outdoor activities.
The precautions should continue until the first hard frost.
For information regarding threat levels in Massachusetts, visit http://westnile.ashtonweb.com/index.asp#Map.