EAST LYME, CT (WFSB) -- The first person in Connecticut who tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) has died.
Health officials said on Friday the East Lyme resident was hospitalized with encephalitis in late August. This is the first fatal human case of EEE since 2013.
Officials also said a second human case was reported. The patient is a resident of Old Lyme and became ill during the second week of September and remains hospitalized.
“The identification of two Connecticut residents with EEE, one of whom has passed away, emphasizes the seriousness of this infection,” DPH Commissioner Renée Coleman Mitchell said in a press release. “Using insect repellent, covering bare skin and avoiding being outdoors from dusk to dawn are effective ways to help keep you from being bitten by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes continue to be active until the first heavy frost.”
Mosquitoes in several towns across the state have tested positive for EEE.
In neighboring Massachusetts, there have been a total of 10 human cases, including two fatalities. There have been 3 human cases in Rhode Island, with one fatality.
Cities and towns across the state have been making sure town-run events and activities end before dusk, to prevent people from being bitten by mosquitoes.
On Friday, Senator Richard Blumenthal urged the federal government to step in and help.
"That’s why I am demanding federal officials take that action and make sure that we are investing. Devote the dollars to research and development," he said.
Officials urge folks to take precautions against being bitten.
For more information on EEE, click here.
Stay with Ch. 3 as this story continues to develop.