(NECN: Kathryn Sotnik, Boston) - State public health officials have announced the first human case of EEE or Eastern equine encephalitis in a Massachusetts resident.
A person close to the victim's family tells us the woman, in her 80's, is from Weymouth, Mass. However, according to the Department of Public Health, it's still not clear where this woman contracted the mosquito borne illness.
The DPH says she was hospitalized in mid-August and died several days later.
DPH says they're conducting an "epidemiological investigation to determine where the woman was most likely exposed to infected mosquitoes. Assessment of EEE risk areas will depend on the findings of this investigation."
Health officials say there were seven cases of EEE in Massachusetts in 2012. EEE is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito, and can be a serious disease in all ages and can cause death.
As for how to prevent mosquito bites, the DPH says to apply insect repellent when outdoors, be aware of peak mosquito hours, dusk to dawn, and wear long sleeve clothing to protect your skin. They also say to mosquito proof your home by draining standing water, installing and repairing your screens, and to protect your animals.
While its not clear where the victim contracted EEE the Norfolk Co. Mosquito District says they were conducting mosquito spraying in Dover, Foxboro, Medfield, Sharon, Walpole, Needham and Norfolk Tuesday night.