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August 1, 2013

EEE found in Massachusetts horse, precautions urged

BOSTON (AP) — State health officials say they have confirmed the first case of Eastern equine encephalitis in a horse in Massachusetts this year and are urging precautions against mosquitoes.

The health department said Wednesday the horse was stabled in Belchertown. It's the second EEE case in a horse there in two years. The department says it's raising the threat level for the mosquito-borne virus to "critical" in Belchertown, urging outdoor events be canceled during the evening when mosquitoes are most active.

The health department said it's raising the threat level to "moderate" in several nearby communities. Officials said Tuesday they consider Amherst to have a "moderate" risk because EEE-infected mosquitoes were found there.

No human cases of EEE or West Nile virus have been reported this year in Massachusetts. West Nile virus has been found in mosquitoes in several communities.

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