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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Mosquitoes with Eastern equine virus found in SE Mass.

By Stephen Smith, Globe Staff

For the second time this summer, mosquitoes carrying Eastern equine encephalitis have been detected in Massachusetts. The infected insects were discovered in Seekonk, in far Southeastern Massachusetts.

The earlier batch of mosquitoes carrying the viral ailment was found in Raynham, not far from Seekonk. In past summers, Eastern equine encephalitis has been rampant in the marshy terrain of Southeastern Massachusetts.

No human cases of the disease have been reported this year in the state. Last year, two people died from the disease and three others were infected but survived.

To avoid contact with infected mosquitoes, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health recommends limiting outdoor activities from dusk to dawn, peak biting times for mosquitoes. Otherwise, wear as much clothing as comfortable and apply insect repellent such as DEET, permethrin, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.

DEET should not be used on infants under the age of 2 months and should be used in concentrations of 30 percent or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under 3 years old.

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