A person has died from eastern equine encephalitis, or EEE, on Sunday in Rhode Island, state officials announced Monday. It's the state's first EEE death in over a decade.
The patient, a West Warwick resident in their 50s, was Rhode Island's first EEE case since 2010, the Rhode Island Department of Health had announced Aug. 30.
They were in critical condition at the time and died on Sunday, over a week later, the health department said Monday. It didn't give more information about the person who died.
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The last time someone in Rhode Island died of EEE was in 2007.
The mosquito-borne virus affects the nervous system and kills about three in 10 people who contract it, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The outbreak has been felt across New England — especially Massachusetts, where a 5-year-old girl and a woman in her 60s last week became the state's sixth and seventh people to test positive for EEE this summer. The 5-year-old girl was in critical condition, while the family of another Massachusetts woman said she died after being diagnosed; health officials haven't confirmed that.
Rhode Island is continuing to send planes to combat mosquitoes Monday night after a first phase of spraying Sunday in West Warwick and many other parts of the state. See a full list here.
Health officials recommend that people avoid going out at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active, to prevent EEE. People should also use bug spray and wear clothes that cover their bodies.