Two more people have the potentially deadly eastern equine encephalitis, or EEE, virus in Rhode Island, state officials said Tuesday. One is a child.
There are now three human cases of EEE this year, amid an outbreak that has spanned New England. Two people have died — one in Rhode Island, one in Massachusetts — among 12 human cases reported in those states and Connecticut.
Rhode Island's newly reported victims were a child under 10 years old from Coventry and a person in their 50s from Charlestown, according to a statement from the departments of health and environmental management.
Both have left the hospital and are recovering, the officials said. They are believed to have contracted the rare, mosquito-borne virus in August.
Pesticide spraying was conducted between Sept. 8 and 10 in the places where all three Rhode Island victims were from, according to the statement.
Authorities have been spraying across New England to tamp down mosquito populations. The virus the insects can transmit 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.