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Massachusetts woman dies of mosquito-borne illness; Three more cases identified



An entomologist identifies mosquito species.

(Darren McCollester / Getty Images)

  • The virus of Eastern equine encephalitis is transmitted by mosquitoes.
  • The virus kills about one third of infected patients investigating three possible disease cases.

A woman who has contracted the mosquito-borne Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus is the first person to die from this disease in Massachusetts this year.

Laurie Sylvia, who passed away on Sunday at Tufts Medical The center in Boston was the fourth person in the state that got infected with the disease this year, according to WBZ-TV .

The largest area is in the counties of Bristol and Plymouth with a second area of ​​activity in parts of the counties of Worcester and Middlesex . "We urge people across the state to remember that the peak time to transmit mosquito-borne diseases is here in Massachusetts until September." Michigan Live reported.

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The Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus is a rare cause of brain infection or encephalitis, according to the Centers for Control and disease prevention. From 2009 to 2018, an average of seven cases were reported each year. Ten of these cases concerned Massachusetts. Only Florida (13) had a higher number of cases.

Symptoms are rapid after infection and include chills, fever, malaise, and joint and muscle pain.

The virus kills about one-third of infected patients, according to the CDC. Those who recover may suffer from brain dysfunctions, personality disorders, seizures and paralysis.


Weather Company's primary journalistic mission is to report on current weather news, the environment, and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company IBM.


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